Contextual determinants of mothers' interventions in young children's peer interactions.

Malinda J. Colwell, Jacquelyn Mize, Gregory S. Pettit, Robert D. Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, the role of context in mothers' interventions in their preschool children's peer relationship problems was investigated. Event theme (aggression, peer rebuff, or initiating play), the child's role in the event (actor or target), the child's age and sex, and the mother's emotional reaction were examined as predictors of the extent to which mothers (N = 71) said they would discuss peer relationships, encourage peer interaction, and use power assertion in response to a series of videotaped vignettes depicting common peer relationship problems. Mothers suggested using more discussion in aggressive situations and more encouragement in initiating play situations. Mothers said they would use more power assertion when the child was the actor (i.e., provocateur), rather than the target, in an aggressive situation. Findings are discussed in terms of (a) the importance of considering context in understanding how mothers intervene in their children's peer relationships and (b) the need to examine moderators of cross-contextual consistency in mothers' interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-502
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2002

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