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A closer examination of aggressive subtypes in early childhood: Contributions of executive function and single-parent status

Several theories of aggression agree that aggression may be a part of a decision-making process, influenced by current internal states and environmental influences. With more than one-quarter of preschool-age children living in single-parent households, we sought to understand how these children might differ from their peers regarding specific subtypes of aggression, with consideration of executive function. Teachers completed aggression questionnaires for 143 children (aged 3-6 years), parents provided demographics, and children completed the Day-Night Stroop task. Findings show differential relations for EF capacities and aggressive subtypes, and children of single-parent families received greater scores of relational aggression. Together, findings suggest that cognitive and environmental factors differentially relate to specific types of aggressive behaviour during early childhood, providing further support that subtypes of aggression should be considered unique. Implications and limitations are discussed in concert with prior work. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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