A social identity approach to explaining children’s aggressive intentions
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This study explored the effects of group norms, intra-group position, and age on the direct and indirect aggressive intentions of 247 children (aged 5.50 to 11.83 years). Participants were assigned to a team, with team norms (aggression vs. helping) and the child's position within the team (prototypical vs. peripheral-prototypical vs. peripheral) manipulated. Results showed that children in the aggressive norm condition reported greater aggressive intentions than those in the helping norm condition, although, when age was considered, this effect remained evident for younger, but not older, children. Similarly, intra-group position influenced the aggressive intentions of younger children only. For these children, when group norms supported aggression, prototypical members and peripheral members who anticipated a future prototypical position reported greater aggressive intentions than peripheral members who were given no information about their future position. The implications of these findings for understanding childhood aggression, and for intervention, are discussed.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology and Ageing