Aggressive Versus Nonaggressive Children:Exploring Differences in Attributional Styles Toward Teachers

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Smith, Sarah Ann
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Middle Tennessee State University
Dodge (1980) investigated how aggressive and nonaggressive boys reacted to a negative outcome and found that aggressive boys interpreted situations involving peers intended to be benign or ambiguous as hostile; this misinterpretation is called a hostile attribution bias. Dotson (2008) and Bryant (2011) in their thesis research investigated whether a similar bias existed toward teachers. Dotson (2008) found some indirect evidence of a bias and Bryant (2011) followed up using procedures more similar to Dodge. However, Bryant's study included some poorly validated scenarios and answer choices. Hood (2012) increased the validity ratings to at least 80% agreement for scenarios and answer choices. The purpose of this study was to use Hood's validated scenarios and a more stringent screening process to identify aggressive children. A hostile attribution bias was not indicated. However, the aggressive group was significantly more accurate in identifying hostile scenarios than the prosocial group.
Attitude Toward Teacher, Childhood Aggression, Hostile Attribution Bias, Peer Aggression, Social Information Processing, Student Risk Screening Scale