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Young Children's Coping with Interpersonal Anger

Richard A. Fabes and Nancy Eisenberg
Child Development
Vol. 63, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 116-128
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130906
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130906
Page Count: 13
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Young Children's Coping with Interpersonal Anger
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Abstract

Although interest in children's stress and coping has increased, little attention has been paid to children's interpersonal coping. During free-play periods, we observed and recorded the causes of preschoolers' (M age = 55.43 months) anger and how they reacted to these provocations (n = 69). Measures of social competence and popularity also were obtained. Preschoolers' coping with interpersonal anger varied in meaningful ways in different contexts and varied for boys and girls. For example, boys tended to vent more than girls, whereas girls tended to actively assert themselves more than boys. Moreover, the findings supported the conclusion that socially competent and popular children coped with anger in ways that were relatively direct and active and in ways that minimized further conflict and damage to social relationships. Results were discussed in light of current research on children's abilities to regulate emotions and social interactions and how these may be related to children's anger-related coping responses.

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