Situational social problem-solving skills and self-esteem of aggressive and nonaggressive boys.
This study was designed to assess specific social problem-solving, perceived competence, and self-esteem characteristics of 20 aggressive and 18 nonaggressive boys. Significant behavioral differences existed between the groups. The problem-solving measure provided for qualitative assessment of specific problem solutions that children consider, varying according to the interpersonal context of conflicts with peers, teachers, and parents and to the level of others' intent in conflicts (ambiguous frustration and hostile provocation). In univariate analyses, aggressive children had poorer self-esteem, generated fewer verbal assertion solutions in peer conflicts and during hostile frustration, and employed more direct action solutions with teachers and during hostile frustration. Discriminant analyses significantly differentiated the two groups. Findings indicated that future research should consider the relative distribution of specific kinds of problem situations that children produce, and that situational factors in social problem-solving skills should be addressed.
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