PRESCHOOLERS' AFFECT AND COGNITION ABOUT CHALLENGING PEER SITUATIONS
A pictorial forced-choice measure was
developed to examine preschoolers' affective and behavioral responses
to three potentially problematic peer situations (Challenging
Situations Task; CST). Children's choices of affective and behavioral
responses were expected to predict evaluations of their social
competence. Moreover, it was expected that these choices would be
predicted by children's predominant affect in the preschool and their
understanding of emotions in general. Twenty-eight preschoolers (mean
age = 58 months) completed the CST and an emotional expression and
situation identification task. Their emotional displays were observed
in the preschool; teachers completed the Behar Problem Behavior
Questionnaire, and peers rated their likability. Results supported a
model of social competence: Expressed emotions and understanding of
emotions influence social cognition about affective and behavioral
aspects of developmentally important peer situations. Social cognitions
about these situations predicted evaluations of children's social
Social cognitions about peer interaction
mediate children's actions in potentially problematic peer situations
(Dodge, Pettit, McClaskey, & Brown, 1986). Presumably, three social
cognitive steps precede peer behavior: children encode and interpret a
given experience, and then reflect on choices of behavioral strategies
or solutions. Last, they finally enact their chosen behavior (see Dodge
et al., 1986).
The quality of social cognitive solutions
generated in response to hypothetical peer challenges predicts success
with peers (Rubin & Daniels-Beirness, 1983; Rubin,
Daniels-Beirness, & Havren, 1982; Sharp, 1981). For example, Rubin,
Daniels-Beirness, and Hayvren (1982) reported that children who more
often generated prosocial solutions to property disputes were more well
liked than children who generated agonistic solutions.
Thus, one of this study's main purposes was
to investigate the relation between preschoolers' choices of specific
behavioral strategies during pictorially depicted peer situations and
their social competence in the preschool classroom, as evaluated by
teachers and peers. Specifically, it was expected that children who
chose prosocial alternatives for responding to challenging peer
situations would be evaluated more favorably by both their teachers and
peers. In contrast, children who chose more aggressive, manipulative,
or avoidant alternatives were expected-to be seen as less socially
adjusted in the classroom (Rubin et al., 1982).
As important as social cognition is, it
cannot be divorced from affect: Together, they mediate behavior towards
peers (Gottman, 1986; Hoffman, 1981). Thus, affect occurring during
encoding of problematic peer situations could influence the choice of
behavioral strategies which in turn lead to enacted behavior (Hoffman,
1981; Kosslyn & Kagan, 1981). Affect may enable or disable the
social cognitive processing necessary to produce high quality solutions
for enactment in actual social situations (see Hoffman, 1975). For
example, it was predicted that children who reported anger in these
peer situations would also more often choose aggressive behavioral
strategies, and less often choose prosocial strategies. Further,
children who admitted the distress inherent in these challenging
situations (i.e., who reported that they would be sad in such
situations) were predicted to more often choose prosocial strategies,
and less often choose aggressive ones.
Thus, another major purpose of this study was
the investigation of preschoolers' self-reported affect during
pictorially depicted peer situations, and its relation to their choices
of behavioral strategies. Correlations between chosen affect and
evaluations of actual social behavior were also predicted (e.g., angry
choices would be related to negative evaluations of social competence).
Children's choice of behavioral strategies
and concomitant affect during challenging peer situations are likely to
be supported by their own prevalent affect and their understanding of
emotions. That is, individual differences in enduring emotions and in
the social cognition of emotions may be seen as intrapersonal forces
which predict these mediators of behaviors towards peers.
For example, previous research has shown that
children's persistent patterns of affective expressiveness are related
to social cognitive abilities (Denham, 1986). Thus, it was expected
that more positive children would choose more prosocial, and fewer
aggressive, behavioral strategies in the situations depicted for them.
They would be less preoccupied with. their own needs during peer
situations, and more able to mobilize socially competent responses (see
also Hoffman, 1975). Because their general positivity allowed them to
accurately reflect on the emotions inherent in challenging peer
situations, it also was expected that such children would report
feeling sad, rather than happy or angry, during such situations. They
would be more able to admit that the situations were potentially
conflictual, as indexed by their choice of sadness, than children
showing more sadness and anger in the preschool classroom.
Similarly, children who better understood
others' emotions would more likely choose prosocial, rather than
aggressive, solutions as responses to the challenging peer situations.
They would be more able to see both points of view in the situation
(see also Denham, 1986; Denham, McKinley, Couchoud, & Holt, 1990,
for positive relation between observed prosocial behavior and
understanding of emotion).
This study's overarching goal was to evaluate
a model of preschoolers' social competence, incorporating affect,
social cognition, and behavior. Its specific goals were: (a) to explore
the linkage between children's predictions of affect and behavior in
such situations; (b) to substantiate that observed affect and knowledge
of emotion support this social cognition; and, finally, (c) to
demonstrate that this social cognition about affective and behavioral
choices in trying peer situations is, in fact, related to both teacher
and peer assessments of social-emotional competence.
Subjects were 28 preschool children, with
mean age of 58 months (range = 47 to 69 months); they attended two
classes of a university laboratory preschool. All but one of the
children were Caucasian; almost all were middle- to upper-middle
socioeconomic strata. There were 14 males and 14 females.
Challenging Situations Task (CST).
This measure was designed to assess children's affective and behavioral
responses to hypothetical peer situations. A challenging situation was
defined as one which would elicit affect and test the limits of the
child's behavioral abilities within the crucial peer relationship.
Categories of peer provocation and entry into
a peer group are difficult encounters which differentiate preschoolers
and school-aged children who differ in social competence (Dodge,
McClaskey, and Feldman, 1985; see also the enumerations of parents,
preschool teachers, and clinical and developmental psychologists for
the current study, Bouril, 1988). The three situations chosen for
inclusion in the CST were: (a) a peer knocking down a tower of blocks
which the child was building; (b) being hit by a peer on the
playground; and (c) entering a group of peers playing a game.
Four categories of affective responses (i.e.,
happy, sad, angry, and neutral or "just okay"), and four categories of
behavioral responses (i.e., prosocial, aggressive, manipulative, and
avoidant) were identified for each situation. Prosocial responses
included engaging the other person in constructive play, not becoming
upset, and discussing the problem. Aggressive responses included
yelling, hitting the other person, or destroying the peers' game.
Crying and/or pouting were manipulative responses. Avoidant responses
were ignoring the other person, withdrawing from the interaction, or
waiting on the sidelines (see Appendix).
The child was instructed to pretend that he
or she was in that situation and to respond to questions as if it were
a real situation for them. The instrument's pictorial format was
similar to that described by Harter and Pike (1984) for the Perceived
Competence Scale for Children. Thus, the tester first presented a 3x4
inch (7.6 x 10.2 cm) picture and verbal description of each challenging
Following this presentation of each
challenging situation, four pictures of happy, sad, angry, and neutral
affect were presented in random order and labelled for the child. Then
the child was asked to point to the picture which best described the
answer to "How do you feel when [this situation] happens to you?"
Next, four pictures of behavioral responses
(prosocial, aggressive, manipulation of others' feelings, and avoidant)
were presented in random order and the child was asked, "what do you do
when you feel that way [in this situation]?" After the child responded,
the three unselected behavioral choice pictures were removed. Scores
for affective and behavioral responses used were number of times each
affect and each behavioral response was chosen by each child, across
the three situations.
Observed emotions. Three
female undergraduate students, who were blind to the study's hypotheses
and results on any other measure, observed the childen's emotions in
the classroom. Each worked from a randomly ordered roster for each
class, observing focal children in turn for 5-minute periods (these
periods were calculated via stopwatch; if a focal subject left the free
play area for any reason, such as entering the restroom, sitting down
for snack, or leaving for the playground, the actual amount of
observation time was recorded). Observers continued through the random
roster, skipping absent pupils, marking the child to be observed first
on the next day when they concluded observing for the day. In this
manner, children were observed for an mean total of 39.94 minutes, or
approximately seven observation periods (SD = 17.34 minutes), over an
average of 7.46 days (SD = 3.06 days). The measures used in subsequent
analyses were the rates per minute of happiness, sadness, anger, and
total emotion expressiveness (also including fear, pain, and "other").
Emotion displays were operationally defined
according to broad facial, vocal, and motor indices that captured their
social meaning (see also Campos & Barrett, 1987). For example,
happiness was indexed by smiles, singing, laughter, or voices with
"pearly," relaxed pitch. Sadness, in contrast, was marked by
hypotonicity, possibly crying, inner corners of eyebrows lifted and
corners of lips down, and slow, steady-pitched speech. Anger was
evidenced behaviorally by throwing, pushing, hitting, facially by brows
shoved down, tense lower lips, staring; speech was clipped, abrupt,
A fourth observer (the first author) coded a
subset of observation periods at the beginning, middle, and end of the
6-month period of observation. For the entire emotion coding system,
the mean percentage agreement across observers was 81%; the mean kappa
for the system was .68; percentage agreements for happiness, sadness,
and anger were 82%, 81%, and 78%, respectively.
Understanding of emotion expressions and situations.
A familiar adult female administered the measures of emotion
understanding in a quiet room of the subjects' preschool. First,
emotion expression labeling was assessed. Happy, sad, angry, and
fearful expressions (from Izard, Dougherty, & Hembree, 1980) were
drawn on four flannel faces. Children examined these faces and were
first asked to identify them verbally, by naming them. Next, the
examiner shuffled the faces and asked "Where is the -- --- face?" for
each of the four emotions. The subjects were required to respond to
each question nonverbally, by pointing.
Emotion situation knowledge was next assessed
via two tasks, one of unequivocal emotional situations, and one of
equivocal emotional situations. The first task explored children's
knowledge of others' feelings in situations that elicit unequivocal
emotional reactions, such as happiness at being given an ice cream
cone, or fear at having a nightmare (Borke, 1971; Denham, 1986). For
this task, puppets enacted eight vignettes, accompanied by the
puppeteer's standardized vocal and visual emotion cues (patterned after
Izard, Dougherty, & Hembree, 1980). The second task of equivocal
emotion situations measured how well children could identify others'
feelings which differed from their own. Mothers reported the subjects'
feelings in 12 common situations which could reasonably elicit two
basic emotions. For example, mothers were asked whether their child
would be happy or sad to come to preschool. In the 12 vignettes,
maternal reports determined the protagonist puppet's emotions. That is,
the puppeteer portrayed the emotion which the subject's mother had not
selected. For example, if mother had indicated that the child would be
happy to come to preschool, the puppet would be sad; if mother had
indicated that the child would be sad if left at home during a family
outing, the puppet would be angry (see also Denham, 1986, and Denham
& Couchoud, 1990).
After each of the 20 vignettes, children were
asked how the puppet felt. They then affixed to the puppet one of the
four flannel faces used in the expression labeling task. The
protagonist puppet was the same gender as the subject. For each of the
three tasks, subjects received 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point
for correctly specifying only the emotion's valence (e.g., choosing the
sad instead of the angry face). The emotion knowledge aggregate
equalled the sum of standardized scores on each of the vignettes and
expression identification items; Cronbach's alpha equalled .83.
Children were administered an adaptation of a reliable and valid
preschool sociometric rating measure (Asher, Singleton, Tinsley, &
Hymel, 1979; Hymel, 1983). They named photographs of their peers to
ensure recognition. They then rated these peers by inserting
photographs of classmates into boxes on which drawings of happy, sad,
and neutral faces were affixed. They inserted a photo into the happy
face box if they liked the peer a lot, in the neutral face box if they
kinda liked the peer, and in the sad face box if they did not like the
The methodology of Asher et al. (1979) was
modified to include a tutorial session in which the experimenter
demonstrated the task before requiring the child to make ratings. Ample
facial and vocal cues of emotion were displayed by the tester while she
placed Fisher-Price "people" in the boxes. The index of likability used
in subsequent analyses equalled the mean of the following weighted sum:
(3 * the number of like ratings) + (2 * the number of kinda like
ratings) + (the number of don't like ratings) from all participating
Teacher ratings. Teachers
were trained to complete the Preschool Problem Behavior Questionnaire
(PPBQ; Behar & Stringfield, 1974). Well-validated scales for
aggression and miserable/fearfulness were used; higher scores denote
maladjustment (Hoge, Meginbir, Khan, & Weatherall, 1985; Rubin
& Clark, 1983). For the aggression scale, the teacher gives each
child a rating from 0 to 2 on seven items: inconsiderate, destroys
property, bullies other children, fights, kicks, does not share, and
blames others. For the miserable/fearfulness scale, the teacher gives
each child a rating from 0 to 2 on five items: fearful, miserable,
stares, cries, and gives up.
Goal One: Relations Among Affective and Behavioral Choices
Descriptive data for all variables are shown
in Table 1. Sufficient variation occurred to warrant correlational
analyses. There also were interesting predominant affective and
behavioral choices for the CST's challenging peer situations: sad
affect and prosocial behaviors.
Intercorrelations among the Challenging
Situation Task variables are shown in Table 2. Children who more often
picked sadness as their affective response tended to pick prosocial
behavioral responses (p < .07). In contrast, they were less likely
to pick angry affective and aggressive behavioral responses.
Children who more often picked anger as their
affective response were likely to pick aggression, but not prosocial
behavior, as their behavioral response. Choice of neutral affective
responses was marginally negatively related to choice of happy
affective responses (p < .07), but positively associated with choice
of manipulative behavioral strategies. Children who more often chose
prosocial behavioral responses were less likely to choose aggressive or
avoidant behavioral responses.
Goal Two: CST's Relations With Predominant Affect and Understanding of Emotion
Intercorrelations of CST variables with
observed emotions and emotion labeling and situation knowledge are
shown in Table 3. Children who more often chose sad affective responses
or prosocial behavioral responses to the three peer situations were
likely to show happiness and to be emotionally expressive in the
preschool classroom (i.e., they displayed more emotions per minute).
Those who more often chose angry responses were less likely to be
expressive in the preschool classroom. Moreover, children who more
often chose happy affective responses were less able to label emotional
expressions, r (26) = -.51, p < .025.
Children who chose prosocial behavioral
responses on the CST also scored higher on emotion knowledge. In
contrast, children who more often picked aggressive behavioral
responses were less likely to show happiness in the preschool
Goal Three: CST's Relations With Teachers' and Peers' Evaluations of Social Competence
Intercorrelations of CST variables with
teacher and peer evaluations of social competence are shown in Table 3.
Children who more often chose sad affective responses were less likely
to be rated as Miserable/Fearful by their teacher, whereas those who
more often picked angry affective responses were more likely to be
rated as Miserable/Fearful. Children who more often chose prosocial
behavioral responses were rated as more likable by peers, and as less
Miserable/Fearful by teachers. In contrast, children who more often
picked aggressive behavioral responses were rated as less likable by
peers. Children who more often said they would cry or pout (i.e., made
manipulative behavioral choices) or made avoidant behavioral choices,
were more likely to be rated as Miserable/Fearful by teachers.
In an effort to examine the complex paths
from affective to behavioral choice, indices of subjects' linkage of
affective and behavioral choices also were created. For example, a
prosocial linkage variable was created which equalled the total number
of sad affective choices which were followed by prosocial behavioral
choices. Children who scored higher on this linkage variable showed
more happiness in preschool, and were more emotionally expressive, r s
(26) = .49 and .56, p s < .05 and .01, respectively. They were also
more well-liked and scored lower on Miserable/Fearful ratings, rs = .40
and -.54, p s < .05 and .01, respectively.
An aggressive linkage variable was created
which equalled the total number of angry affective choices which were
followed by aggressive behavioral choices. Children who scored higher
on this aggregate were less likely to show happiness or be emotionally
expressive overall in the preschool classroom, r s (26) = -.39 and -
.38, p s < .05.
In order to best summarize the observed
pattern of covariation among these variables, a series of regression
analyses also was conducted to test the predictive pathways displayed
in Figure 1 through Figure 4. Happiness observed in the preschool was
allowed to predict emotions reported on the CST (sadness and anger),
and emotion knowledge was allowed to predict behavioral strategies
reported on the CST (prosocial and aggressive). Sociometric ratings and
teacher ratings of sadness (PPBQ) were predicted by these behavioral
The results of these regression analyses (as
indicated by significant betas in the figures) suggest that the most
successful models incorporating affect, social cognition, and behavior
are the prediction of sociometric or sadness ratings from observed
happiness, emotion knowledge, and CST sadness and prosocial strategies
(see Figures 1 and 2).
In Figure 3, although CST anger and
aggressive strategies also predict sociometric ratings, observed
happiness and emotion knowledge do not predict these aspects of social
competence. The model further breaks down when predicting the less
global teacher rating of sadness; CST aggressive strategies do not
predict teacher rated sadness (see Figure 4).
Acquiring skill with peers is a major
developmental task during the early childhood period; children must
learn to manage their emotional arousal, and to maintain behavioral
organization despite this arousal, during peer interaction (Parker
& Gottman, 1989; Waters & Sroufe, 1983). Because of the duality
of this developmental task, affective as well as behavioral choices
were included in the CST.
Thus, an attempt was made to demonstrate
young children's coherent, organized social cognition about both
aspects of taxing peer situations. In our study, the difficult task of
self disclosure was made easier for preschoolers by allowing them to
choose among pictorial depictions of emotions, which most could
differentiate (see Denham & Couchoud, 1990; cf. Cole, 1986).
Regarding the model of social competence
proposed here, children's chosen emotional responses were often related
to their chosen behavioral responses. These preschoolers already were
exhibiting a linkage between their anger and their aggression (Averill,
1982), and between their distress and their prosocial behavior
(Barnett, King, & Howard, 1979); they appeared aware that their
emotions could either enable or disable prosocial behavior (see also
The children's predominant affective choice,
sadness, also deserves comment. Earlier research has shown that, for
preschoolers, the emotional label sad can denote sadness, distress, a
general feeling "bad" (Denham & Couchoud, 1990); children may have
used the affective choice of sadness to denote almost a moral concern
about problematic peer situations.
Personal styles in these affective and
behavioral choices also emerged, that is, children who chose sad
affective responses were unlikely to choose angry affective responses,
and those who chose prosocial behavioral responses were unlikely to
choose either aggressive or avoidant responses. Thus, the goal of
demonstrating organized behavioral and affective aspects of
preschoolers' thinking about peer situations was met.
Results also supported other aspects of the
model of social competence in preschool: emotion, both through
expressed emotions and understanding of emotions, and predicted social
cognition about developmentally important peer situations. Further, the
quality of behavioral choices regarding these situations predicted
evaluations of social competence made by significant persons in the
Specifically, children who were more
emotionally positive and/or expressive showed a distinctive social
cognitive pattern of sad, not angry, affective choices and prosocial,
not aggressive, behavioral choices. Emotionally expressive, positive
children may be more able to mentally focus on problematic peer
situations and organize socially competent responses (Hoffman, 1975;
Sroufe, Schork, Motti, Lawroski, & LaFreniere, 1984; Waters &
Understanding others' emotional viewpoints in
order to choose or perform skilled prosocial responses is a central
element of many theories of prosocial behavior (Eisenberg, 1986). The
relation between such understanding of emotion and actual prosocial
behavior is supported by our earlier work (Denham, 1986), and in this
study, children's understanding of emotions was related to prosocial
behavioral choices. The discovery that understanding of emotions also
appears to fuel thinking about performance of prosocial behavior begins
to uncover the complex social cognitive processes by which it relates
to that observed behavior.
Further, children who were less able to label
emotional expressions more often chose happy affective responses on the
CST. Misperceiving negative situations as positive appears to be a
distinct developmental delay; for example, earlier research has shown
that confusing happy and sad expressions and situations is inversely
related to likability (Denham, McKinley, et al., 1990).
The relations among CST affective and
behavioral variables and others' assessments of children's social
competence were complex. It was clear that children who were more
well-liked by their peers chose prosocial, not aggressive, behavioral
responses. As with the results for understanding of emotion, this
social cognitive finding is supported by actual observations of
better-liked children showing more prosocial, and less aggressive,
behaviors (Denham, McKinley, et al., 1990). Accurately processing the
social cues in peer situations is hypothesized as an initial step in a
complex social cognitive process by which prosocial behavior relates to
likability (Dodge et al., 1986; Putallaz, 1983); this investigation
tapped such a relation in children somewhat younger than studied
Children seen by their teacher as more
miserable and fearful in the preschool classroom chose angry, but not
sad, CST affective responses. Moreover, they chose manipulative,
avoidant, but not prosocial, behavioral responses. Children who score
high on this PPBQ scale appear quite unhappy in the preschool
classroom, and may be participating in a cycle where the skewed,
defensive quality of their social problem-solving only serves to
continue their social failure and increase their misery. Their
predominant affective choice, anger, also should be highlighted:
Fearful, miserable preschoolers may indeed exhibit frustration and
aggression when interacting with peers.
Results from the regression analyses stress
the importance of both the quality of children's solutions to
problematic peer situations, and of including affect in the social
cognitive process, in the prediction of social competence in the
preschool classroom. The combination of positive social cognitive
strategies (i.e., prosocial solutions) and affective qualities
(realistic distress in challenging situations, happiness in the
preschool, and overall understanding of emotions) was especially
effective in predicting social competence.
Given the import of these social cognitive
and affective attributes, the search for the socialization roots of
capabilities which support peer competence is vital. Early
investigations have suggested modeling of parental emotional
expressiveness during interaction (Putallaz, 1987), and commonality
between maternal and children's social cognition about peer situations
(Pettit, Dodge, & Brown, 1988). Other fruitful avenues for future
research would be to examine the socialization of social cognition
about affective and behavioral choices during challenging peer
situations, as well as the more general socialization of emotional
expressiveness and understanding of emotion, which support this social
The director, teachers, and children of the
Project for the Study of Young Children graciously made this study
possible. CST data comprise a large part of the second author's
doctoral dissertation. The authors also acknowledge the assistance of
Joanne Ayyash, Elizabeth Couchoud, Carlton Hicks, Soueang Lay, and
Marcia McKinley, who observed or administered emotion understanding and
sociometric measures. We would also like to thank Elizabeth Lemerise
and Jennifer Mitchell-Copeland, who made helpful comments on an earlier
version of the article.
Reprints may be requested from:
Susanne A. Denham
Department of Psychology
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Descriptive Data for All Variables
Variable M SD
Happy 0.64 0.62
Sad 1.25 1.00
Angry 0.93 0.98
Neutral 0.18 0.39
Prosocial 1.43 1.03
Aggressive 0.64 0.95
Manipulative 0.32 0.55
Avoidant 0.61 0.79
Happy 0.51 0.32
Sad 0.03 0.04
Angry 0.12 0.14
Expressive 0.75 0.32
Understanding of Emotion
Labeling 13.74 1.51
Situations 32.22 7.79
Weighted Mean 2.13 0.24
Teacher Rating (PPBQ)
Aggressive 2.82 3.38
Miserable/Fearful 1.32 1.31
a All observed emotion variables are frequencies per minute.
Intercorrelations Among Challenging Situation Task Categories
Legend for Chart:
A - Affective, Happy
B - Affective, Sad
C - Affective, Angry
D - Affective, Neut
E - Behavioral, Prosoc
F - Behavioral, Aggress
G - Behavioral, Manip
H - Behavioral, Avoid
A B C D E F G H
1. -- -.33 -.17 -.34[a] .07 .03 .24 -.30
2. -.81[c] -.02 .36[a] -.45[b] -.02 .08
3. -.16 -.44[b] .53[c] -.30 .15
4. .08 -.22 .41[a] -.13
5. -.63[c] -.12 -.47[c]
6. -.27 -.19
a p < .10. b p < .05. c p < .01.
Intercorrelations of Challenging Situation
Task Variables with Observed Emotions, Emotion Knowledge, and Social
Legend for Chart:
A - Affective, Happy
B - Affective, Sad
C - Affective, Angry
D - Affective, Neut
E - Behavioral, Prosoc
F - Behavioral, Aggress
G - Behavioral, Manip
H - Behavioral, Avoid
A B C D E F G H
-.16 .45[a] -.31 -.07 .44[a] -.39[a] -.17 .00
.12 -.10 -.06 .20 -.06 -.10 .02 .18
.12 .20 -.15 -.28 .14 .14 -.22 -.19
.00 .48[a] -.37[a] -.23 .53[b] -.24 -.30 -.22
Understanding of Emotions
.06 .00 -.05 .03 .40[a] -.25 .06 -.24
Social Competence Ratings
-.30 .25 -.11 .12 .44[a] -.40[a] -.06 -.06
.06 -.13 .11 -.03 -.01 .03 -.21 .13
.04 -.43[a] .40[a] .18 -.52[b] .04 .37[a] .38[a]
a p < .05. b p < .01.
DIAGRAM: Figure 1 Model sociometric ratings via CST sadness and prosocial strategies.
DIAGRAM: Figure 2. Model predicting sociometric ratings via CST anger and aggressive strategies.
DIAGRAM: Figure 3. Model predicting teacher ratings of via CST sadness and prosocial strategies.
DIAGRAM: Figure 4. Model predicting teacher ratings of sadness via CST anger and aggressive strategies.
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Item 1: You are building a very tall tower of blocks. But Bobby knocked it down. How do you feel? What do you do?
Do you just build another tower? Hit Bobby or yell at him?
Cry? Find something else to play with?
Item 2: You are having a good time playing in the sandbox when Bobby hits you. How do you feel? What do you do?
Do you tell him that's not a nice thing to do? Hit him back? Cry?
Go play somewhere else?
Item 3. You see some of your friends playing
a game of "Candyland." You would really like to play, too. How do you
feel? What do you do?
Ask if you can play with them?
Mess up the game by taking one of the pieces?
Stand on the side and look sad?
Wait and see if they notice you?
By Susanne A. Denham , Beverly Bouril and Francesca Belouad
George Mason University
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