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Title: Emotional and behavioural difficulties : causal attributions for social and working relations in Greek primary school children
Author: Peramageli, Fotini
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1997
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Emotional and behavioural difficulties are present in many children's lives. Prevalence and stability estimates have called for early identification and intervention. Several factors have been identified which relate to emotional and behavioural difficulties and conclusions have been drawn on how children with EBDs differ from the non-EBD. One area which has not been adequately researched is the relationship between emotional/behavioural difficulties and social cognition and more specifically to causal attributions. Children's causal attributions have been found to relate directly to their emotional and behavioural reactivity, so the objective of the present research was to identify the way children with EBDs perceive and interpret social situations of peer rejection and school failure. Two studies were carried out. The first study dealt with the identification process of emotional and behavioural difficulties in primary school children, aged 8-11yrs old, in Athens, Greece. The Rutter Behaviour Questionnaire for completion by teachers and parents was used for 266 children from 2 state schools. The prevalence rate was estimated at the 35% level. Sex and social class differences were also identified. Three groups of children were identified in the first study for participation in the second study. One group included children identified by parents and teachers on two occasions (the pervasive and stable group), one identified twice by teachers only and one twice by parents only. Each of the three groups was matched with a control in terms of sex, age and SES. It was found that children in all the three EBD groups have consistently failed to choose internal self-attributions in comparison to their controls i.e. selfattributions for failure and rejection in social and work relations were mainly external for the EBD groups whereas they were both internal and external for the controls. There were no differences between the two groups for the other attributions i.e. other attributions for failure and rejection in social and work relations were both external and internal, for both the EBD and control groups. No differences were identified between EBD and control groups in terms of children's ability to anticipate others' hurt feelings. However, differences were found between the pervasive EBD and control groups in children's reactions to anticipating hurt feelings. The EBD group children revealed both internal and external reasons, although they were able to realise, that internal reasons hurt more. The control group children only revealed the external reasons. These results enhance our understanding of the heterogeneity and situation specificity of EBDs and have major implications for assessment and identification measures. They also shed some light on the relationship between EBDs and causal attributions and can have useful educational, social and psychological implications for the children themselves as well as for their significant others.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available