"I got some swords and you're dead!": Violent fantasy, antisocial behavior, friendship, and moral sensibility in young children

Authors
Citation
J. Dunn et C. Hughes, "I got some swords and you're dead!": Violent fantasy, antisocial behavior, friendship, and moral sensibility in young children, CHILD DEV, 72(2), 2001, pp. 491-505
Citations number
57
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
CHILD DEVELOPMENT
ISSN journal
0009-3920 → ACNP
Volume
72
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
491 - 505
Database
ISI
SICI code
0009-3920(200103/04)72:2<491:"GSSAY>2.0.ZU;2-9
Abstract
Relations between an early interest in violent fantasy and children's socia l understanding, antisocial and emotional behavior, and interactions with f riends were investigated in 40 "hard-to-manage" preschoolers and 40 control children matched for gender, age, and school and ethnic background. Childr en were filmed alone in a room with a friend, and tested on a battery of co gnitive tests, including false-belief, executive function, and emotion unde rstanding tasks. Teachers reported on their friendship quality. At age 6 ye ars, the children's understanding of the emotional consequences of antisoci al and prosocial actions was studied. The hard-to-manage group showed highe r rates of violent fantasy; across both groups combined, violent fantasy wa s related to poor executive control and language ability, frequent antisoci al behavior, displays of anger and refusal to help a friend, poor communica tion and coordination of play, more conflict with a friend, and less empath ic moral sensibility 2 years later. The usefulness of a focus on the conten t of children's pretend play-in particular, violent fantasy-as a window on children's preoccupations is considered.