Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 63–66 | Cite as

The preschool child's perception of adult approval in “nondirective” statements

  • Barbara V. Miller


Twenty children of nursery school age participated in a study of adult approval/ disapproval as conveyed by nondirective statements relating to play aggression. Though all sentences were tape recorded in a neutral voice, 10 of 15 conveyed disapproval in a significant proportion of judgments. All statements explicitly mentioning aggression were judged disapproving. It was concluded that nondirective play therapists must convey acceptance through other modes in order to avoid suppressing aggressive play.


Significant Proportion Preschool Child Nursery School Play Therapist Aggressive Play 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andronico, M. P., & Guerney, B. G., Jr. A psychotherapeutic aide in a Headstart program.Children, 1969,16, 14–22.Google Scholar
  2. Axline, V. M.Play Therapy. New York: Ballantine Books, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. Buss, A.The Psychology of Aggression. New York: Wiley, 1961.Google Scholar
  4. Hendricks, S. J. A descriptive analysis of the process of client-centered play therapy. Ed. D. Thesis, North Texas State University, 1971.Google Scholar
  5. Kniveton, B. H. Nursery school as an inhibitor of working-class aggression imitation.British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 1972,2, 295–296.Google Scholar
  6. Sears, R. R., Maccoby, E. E., & Levin, H.Patterns of Child Rearing. Evanston, Ill.: Ross, Peterson, 1957.Google Scholar
  7. Siegel, A. E., & Kohn, L. G. Permissiveness, permission, and aggression: The effect of adult presence and absence on aggression in children's play.Child Development, 1959,30, 131–141.Google Scholar
  8. Stover, L. & Guerney, B. G., Jr. The efficacy of training procedures for mothers in filial therapy. In Guerney (ed.)Psychotherapeutic Agents: New Roles for Nonprofessionals, Parents, and Teachers. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1969.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara V. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Adler Regional CenterChampaign

Personalised recommendations