Peer Relationships and Bullying: Using the PMSSW to examine children’s experiences and coping strategies in early schooling

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only

Abstract

Gathering young children’s views and experiences of difficult social and emotional situations is an ongoing dilemma for researchers. Ringoot et al. (2013) note that few validated, structured, self-report measures of emotional and behavioural problems are available for use with young children. Direct questioning techniques, including child self-report questionnaires and rating scales, can be daunting for young children, whereas indirect or representational methods, such as puppet interviews, role-play tasks, and pictorial scales, enable children to project difficult feelings onto the puppet or a child in a picture or story. In this paper, we present findings from a study with 4 to 6 year old children using projective techniques to help them discuss confronting issues, including experiences of bullying. This study used the Pictorial Measure of School Stress and Wellbeing (PMSSW; Murray, 2008; Harrison & Murray, 2015) to gather children’s perspectives on peer relationships and bullying at school. The PMSSW uses a structured set of questions about each picture to ask children how they feel about a typical school scenario and what strategies they would use to cope with the situation. Bullying is depicted by a picture that can be viewed from three perspectives: as a victim, a perpetrator, or a witness. Findings will be presented from a sample of 101 kindergarten children who were interviewed at the beginning and end of their first year of school. Initial findings indicate that children’s feelings about bullying were related to their strategies for coping in other stressful situations. Children referred to the teacher, especially in helping them manage negative interactions and supporting their problem solving efforts. At the beginning of the year, children tended to employ passive coping strategies (related to a reliance on the school routines), and reported a sense of being overwhelmed in bullying situations. More constructive coping strategies were reported by children at the end of the year.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018
Event25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development - The Star, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 15 Jul 201819 Jul 2018
https://www.issbd2018.org/ (conference website)

Conference

Conference25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development
CountryAustralia
CityGold Coast
Period15/07/1819/07/18
Internet address

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