Differences in prosocial and aggressive behavior in preschool children depending on the frequency of interaction between the child and a puppet

Introduction: Puppets are an important educational and therapeutic agent, and an impetus for creative expression in children. Therefore, educators in kindergarten should be familiar with puppets as a medium which is able to stimulate the development of the children. The main goal of this study was to answer the question: are there differences in prosocial and aggressive behavior in preschool children in relation to the frequency of the teacher’s use of puppets in her educational work? Materials and methods: Twenty teachers in kindegartens assessed the level of prosocial or aggressive behavior in 248 children, from kindergartens in the Split-Dalmatia County, aged 5.5 to 7 years (each teacher assessed the children in the educational groups of children in the study themselves). The children were placed in an experimental (in which the educator often uses a paper doll) or a control group (in which the educator very rarely used a paper doll). Teachers assessed the behavior of the children in their own educational group in the kindergarten using a scale for assessing prosocial and aggressive behavior in children (Žužul and Vlahovic-Štetić). Results: Results of the variance analysis showed that children in the experimental and control groups differed significantly in the prevalence of aggressive and prosocial behavior. Aggressive behavior was significantly more frequent in the control group and prosocial in the experimental group. In both groups, these two types of behaviors were negatively and significantly correlated. Discussion: The main finding of this research suggests that regular use of different methods of using puppets in educational work in kindergartens is correlated with the appearance of two forms of social behavior of children (prosocial and aggressive). These results can provide guidance for practical work, with a potential desirable impact on children, preferably using puppets in educational work. Conclusion: Children in the experimental group (more frequent use of puppets in educational work), were assessed by the teachers as more prosocial and less aggressive than in the control group of children. The relationship between prosocial and aggressive behavior in children is negative and statistically significant in the experimental, as well as in the control group.

Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 55, No 1, january - march 2011
Authors: I. Hicela, J. Sindik
Reference work:

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