Children’s social-emotional behaviors in the classroom

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sung-Ae Kim (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Catherine Scott-Little

Abstract: This qualitative study was conducted to explore children’s social-emotional behaviors in the classroom. The participants in this study were 39 children in three different classrooms across three different preschool programs. Data were collected during morning time for one week in each classroom. This study proceeded by observing children’s social-emotional behaviors during play in their classrooms, interpreting their interactions with peers, categorizing and combining them with meaningful themes, and finding relationships between the emergent themes and contextual factors. First, this study began with descriptions of and reflections on the classrooms for understanding each classroom context. Second, children’s general social-emotional behaviors during play in their classrooms were described. Children exhibited both prosocial and conflict behaviors as well as positive and negative emotions. Third, among children’s diverse behaviors, there were some significant, frequent, and evident behaviors in their peer interactions. These were power, teamwork, and social-emotional difficulties. Then, the associations between these themes and contextual factors were addressed. This qualitative study of children’s social-emotional behaviors in their classrooms provides information and knowledge that can be used to inform teachers about young children’s peer interactions in the classroom. Its results can help increase teachers’ understandings of patterns in children’s behaviors and their associations with features of classroom contexts.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Children's behavior and classroom context, Children's peer interactions, Children's social-emotional behaviors, Observational study, Qualitative study, Social-emotional development
Preschool children $x Psychology
Social interaction in children
Emotions in children
Child development
School psychology

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