Prediction of elementary school children's socially appropriate and problem behavior from anger reactions at age 4-6 years

Nancy Eisenberg, Richard Fabes, Bridget C. Murphy, Stephanie Shepard, Ivanna K. Guthrie, Pat Mazsk, Rick Poulin, Sarah Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four-to 6-year-olds' anger reactions were observed in preschool/kindergarten and their social functioning was assessed at ages 4-6, 6-8, and 8-10 years. Teachers reported on socially appropriate and social/prosocial behavior, and parents reported on children's problem behaviors. Early anger reactions (especially the use of verbal objections, physical retaliation, and escape behavior) predicted social functioning years later; findings were strongest for teachers' reports of socially appropriate behavior and parents' reports of problem behavior. For aspects of social functioning other than teacher-reported socially appropriate behavior (prosocial/social behavior and low aggression and disruptive behavior), these relations were not due solely to the effects of social skills at age 4-6 on both anger reactions and quality of social functioning in elementary school. Findings were consistent with the possibility that level of social skills at age 4-6 partially mediated the effects of anger reactions on subsequent teacher-reported socially appropriate behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-142
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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