Children's goals and strategies in peer conflict situations
This study was designed to investigate whether children's goals in peer conflict situations are related to the strategies they propose for resolving conflicts and to learn how children's strategies relate to their acceptance by the peer group. Fourth-through sixth-grade children (80 boys, 62 girls) were asked about their goals and strategies in response to 12 hypothetical peer conflict situations. Results indicated that children's strategies for responding to peer conflicts differed according to their goal orientation. Furthermore, children's selection of strategies correlated with peer acceptance, although the linkages were different for boys and girls. Peer acceptance was negatively related to hostile/coercive strategies for girls, and negatively to adult-seeking strategies for boys. Implications of the present findings for social skills intervention are discussed.