Dominance among Unfamiliar Peers Starts in Infancy

Dominance among Unfamiliar Peers Starts in Infancy

Dominance among Unfamiliar Peers Starts in Infancy

Dominance among Unfamiliar Peers Starts in Infancys

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Référence bibliographique [2339]

Infant Mental Health Journal, vol. 28, no 3, p. 324-343.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« Our first goal was to test whether asymmetry in resource control would clearly and swiftly occur between unfamiliar children as early as 19 months of age. Our second goal was to examine whether this potential asymmetry in resource control between unfamiliar children would depend on factors found in animal studies: sex, age, body size, social experience, temperament, and aggressiveness. » (p. 328)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« We hypothesized that competition for resources would start with the children’s ability to move freely in their environment and to interact with each other. » (p. 328)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
« The sample consisted of 205 girls and 197 boys with a mean age of 19 months, 14 days of age. [...] [They were] recruited at birth for the Quebec Newborn Twins Study (QNTS) participated in the study. » (p. 328)

Instruments :
« The aim of the procedure was to assess each individual for his or her reaction in a potentially competitive situation with an unfamiliar peer. [...] Birth rank, gestational duration, weight, height, and body mass index at birth and at the time of the annual visit to the lab were also collected. » (p. 329)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« Dominance has been conceived for a long time in terms of asymmetry in agonistic conflicts. But this conception has shown its limits in the complexity of children’s social worlds. Today, dominance is rather conceived in terms of asymmetry in resource control within children’s dyads. Some observational studies have been done in this context, but only on small groups of familiar children and often up to 3 years of age. Our aim was to reveal whether asymmetry in resource control would occur between younger children who met each other for the first time in the presence of an attractive toy. We observed 201 dyads of 19-month-old unfamiliar peers in four repetitive competitive sessions for a toy. Resource control and asymmetry between participants were highly consistent between sessions. The level of asymmetry in resource control between participants was very high. This asymmetry was influenced neither by gender nor by age, and coercive behaviors in the situation, physical aggression rated by parents, birth order, and day-care habits did not account for the asymmetry in our setting. However, body size at birth (although not at the time of testing) and anxiety rated by parents contributed significantly to the asymmetry in resource control. » (p. 324)