Display rules for anger and aggression in school-age children.
2 related studies addressed the development of display rules for anger and the relation between use of display rules for anger and aggressiveness as rated by school peers. Third, fifth, and seventh graders (ages 8.4, 10.9, and 12.8, respectively) gave hypothetical responses to videotaped, anger provoking vignettes. Overall, regardless of how display rules were defined, subjects reported display rules more often with teachers than with peers for both facial expressions and actions. Reported masking of facial expressions of anger increased with age, but only with teachers. Girls reported masking of facial expressions of anger more than boys. There was a trend for aggressive subjects to invoke display rules for anger less than nonaggressive subjects. The phenomenon of display rules for anger is complex and dependent on the way display rules are defined and the age and gender of the subjects. Most of all, whether children say they would behave angrily seems to be determined by the social context for revealing angry feelings; children say they would express anger genuinely much more often with peers than with teachers.
Underwood, MK; Coie, JD; Herbsman, CR
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