Background verbal and physical anger: a comparison of children's responses to adult-adult and adult-child arguments.

Child development

PubMedID: 7750376

el-Sheikh M, Cheskes J. Background verbal and physical anger: a comparison of children's responses to adult-adult and adult-child arguments. Child Dev. 1995;66(2):446-58.
Children's responses to adult-child conflict were examined and compared to their responses to adult-adult conflict. These responses were further analyzed in relation to 2 forms of anger expression: verbal and physical. 6-7- and 9-10-year-olds were interviewed after viewing videotaped segments of angry arguments. Although children were distressed by both adult-child and adult-adult conflict, the participants in conflict and form of anger expression moderated some of their responses. In adult-child conflict, children were more scared in response to physical versus verbal arguments. For verbal arguments, some children felt both more scared and mad during adult-adult conflict in comparison to adult-child conflict; however, the percentage of children reporting fear and anger was small. Intervention in conflict through siding with one party occurred more frequently in adult-child conflict versus adult-adult conflict. Responses were further moderated by the age and gender of the subject.