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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972

Abstract

MORAIS, Maria de Lima Salum e  and  OTTA, Emma. Cultural and gender differences in preschool children's conflicts. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.2, pp. 221-232. ISSN 0102-7972.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722008000200008.

The study compares conflict episodes of four- to five-year-old children of two cultural groups: one from a big city (São Paulo), and another from a small seashore community in the State of São Paulo (Ubatuba). 20 girls and 19 boys were observed in their free preschool activities. Motives, strategies of opposition, reactions to opposition, and conflicts outcomes were analyzed. The most frequent motive for conflicts was the dispute for toys and other objects. Pro-social and coercive strategies were found in children from both genders and groups. Behavioral differences between genders in the children from São Paulo, differently from what occurred with the children from Ubatuba, were similar to those found in European an North American studies: boys used more aggressive tactics, while girls tended to be more conciliatory. São Paulo's children showed greater number of verbal tactics, while direct and proximal strategies prevailed among Ubatuba's children. The study evidences the importance of considering cultural influences on children's conflict resolution.

Keywords : conflict; cultural differences; gender differences.

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