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Children's Aggressive Behavior in a Head Start Sample: Its Relation to Caregiver Factors and Children's Attachment Representations

The purpose of this study was to investigate caregiver psychological and environmental factors that contribute to parenting attitudes, attachment representations in their children, and subsequent child behavior. Sixty-three caregiver-child dyads participated in the study. Caregiver factors included the perceived availability of social support and satisfaction with social support, life stress, parenting attitudes, and caregiver psychological well being. The Six-Year Attachment Doll Play Attachment Classification System (George & Solomon, 1990, 1996, 2000) was used to assess children's attachment representations. Teachers and caregivers reported children's aggressive behavior. Children's sex did not account for differences in child behavior. The caregiver's cultural background did not account for differences in parenting. Due to the small number of children classified as secure (N=4), this category was dropped from the analysis. Caregiver psychological well-being was associated with children's attachment representations. Social support network size, satisfaction with social support, and life stress, and parenting attitudes were not associated with children's attachment representations. Caregiver environmental factors were significant predictors of empathy and role reversal, but were not significant predictors of values related to corporal punishment, inappropriate expectations, or power-independence issues. Children's aggression at home and at school did not vary as a function of attachment representations.
Resource Type:
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
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Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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