Interactive Links Between Theory of Mind, Peer Victimization, and Reactive and Proactive Aggression

Interactive Links Between Theory of Mind, Peer Victimization, and Reactive and Proactive Aggression

Interactive Links Between Theory of Mind, Peer Victimization, and Reactive and Proactive Aggression

Interactive Links Between Theory of Mind, Peer Victimization, and Reactive and Proactive Aggressions

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Référence bibliographique [10359]

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, vol. 38, no 8, p. 1109-1123.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«In summary, the first objective of the present study was to investigate the relation between theory of mind skills before school entry and reactive and proactive aggression in kindergarten. […] Secondly, we aimed to examine the moderating role of peer victimization in the relation between theory of mind and the different functions of aggressive behaviors.» (p. 1112)

Questions/Hypothèses :
«The principal expectation was that theory of mind would be differently related to the two functions of aggression. Specifically, theory of mind skills should be negatively related to reactive aggression but positively related to proactive aggression. […] We expected that theory of mind should be negatively related to reactive aggression especially in children who are frequently victimized by their peers. […] Finally, we expected that the association between theory of mind and proactive aggression might be stronger for boys than for girls.» (p. 1112)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«[T]he final sample for the present study consisted of 574 individual children for whom data were available at both 60 and 72 months.» (p. 1113) «Participants of the present study were drawn from an ongoing longitudinal study, the Quebec Newborn Twin Study, a population-based sample of twins from the greater Montreal area in the Province of Quebec, Canada.» (p. 1112)

Instruments :
Questionnaire

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


«[T]he anterior social context of reactively aggressive children is often characterized by physical abuse and a coercive discipline style of the parents (Dodge et al. 1997; Vitaro and Brendgen 2005).» (p. 1111) «Low theory of mind skills should thus be a risk factor of reactive aggression particularly in children who are exposed to negative experiences with the social environment, such as a negative treatment from parents or peers. Some evidence in support of this notion comes from studies showing that harsh treatment from parents interacts with theory of mind to predict regulatory behavior problems such as temper tantrums, hyperactivity and defiant behavior — behaviors that are closely related to reactive aggression (Vitaro et al. 2002; Waschbusch et al. 1998).» (p. 1111) «If previous experiences with others are predominantly negative, these children may be especially prone to interpret the situation as threatening and react aggressively. Previous research has shown that harsh treatment by parents may be one such negative experience that fosters reactive behavior in children with low theory of mind skills (Hughes and Ensor 2006, 2007). Our study suggests that negative treatment by peers may be a similar contributing factor in the link between low theory of mind and reactive aggression and that these associations are the same for girls and boys.» (p. 1117-1118)