Integrating multi-axial models with an action-theory perspective, we propose that children's coping strategies vary along four dimensions of strategic behavioral control: Direct Action, Indirect Action, Prosocial Action, and Antisocial Action. The Behavioral Inventory of Strategic Control (BISC) assesses these four general dimensions of strategic control. We contrast these four axial dimensions with six specific strategic combinations: Avoidance (Indirect-Antisocial), Emotional Support Seeking (Indirect-Prosocial), Social Exploitation (Indirect-Antisocial), Social Cooperation (Direct-Prosocial), Aggressive Individualism (Direct-Antisocial) and Hostility (Indirect-Antisocial). In a short-term longitudinal study (three occasions over four months) of 318 children (grades 2-6), we examined the validity of the BISC, showing that the hypothesized dimensional structure of children's strategic control behavior was strongly supported.
- Action-control theory
- Middle childhood