Does Parent-Child Discussion of Peer Provocations Reduce Young Children's Hostile Attributional Bias?

Child Dev. 2018 Sep;89(5):1908-1920. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13087. Epub 2018 Jun 19.


Two studies investigated whether parent-child discussion of peer provocations reduces young children's hostile attributional bias. Study 1 (N = 109, age 4-7)-an observational study-showed that parent-child discussion of nonhostile attributions (when reading a picture book) predicted reductions in children's hostile attributional bias from pre- to postdiscussion. Study 2 (N = 160, age 4-6)-an experimental study-showed that stimulating parents to discuss either nonhostile attributions or normative beliefs (vs. a control condition) reduced children's hostile attributional bias in response to hypothetical vignettes, but not in response to a staged peer provocation. These findings suggest that by framing social situations, parents may help their children perceive less hostility in their social worlds.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents
  • Peer Group
  • Social Perception*
  • Sociological Factors