Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 505–518 | Cite as

Assessment of children's social problem-solving skills in hypothetical and actual conflict situations

  • Frank Vitaro
  • Daniel Pelletier


This study compared the social problem-solving skills of 57 maladjusted and 57 well adjusted first and second graders in a series of hypothetical and actual provocations. All children were asked how they would react to four videotaped provocations involving same-age peers. They were also exposed to three provocations simulated by a peer-confederate; their verbal and nonverbal behaviors were videotaped. Multivariate analyses of variance indicated that, overall, maladjusted subjects displayed less assertiveness and more verbal and nonverbal aggressive responses to the actual provocations. Conversely, hypothetical situations yielded few between-group differences with respect to verbal strategies. The validity of hypothetical situations is questioned; the importance of actual situations for assessment and intervention purposes is stressed.


Multivariate Analysis Actual Situation Nonverbal Behavior Conflict Situation Hypothetical Situation 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Vitaro
    • 1
  • Daniel Pelletier
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Uniton Children's Psycho-Social MaladjustmentUniversity of MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.University of Québec at HullHullCanada

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