Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55b6f6c457-rpvk9 Total loading time: 0.249 Render date: 2021-09-28T17:44:35.848Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The Assessment of the Situational Specificity of Children's Problem Behaviour in Peer–Peer Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2001

Walter Matthys
Affiliation:
University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
Gerard Maassen
Affiliation:
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Juliane Cuperus
Affiliation:
St. Marie, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Herman van Engeland
Affiliation:
University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
Get access

Abstract

In both theory and research the general issue of the extent to which children's problem behaviour is generalised across situations, and to what extent it is situation specific, has been neglected. In the clinical assessment of disordered children, too, little attention has been paid to the specific situations in which these children display their inappropriate behaviour. In this study the Taxonomy of Problematic Social Situations (TOPS) (Dodge, McClaskey, & Feldman, 1985) was employed. This is a questionnaire in which the child's teacher is asked to rate the likelihood of a child responding in an inappropriate manner in a specific situation. Characteristics of TOPS were investigated both in randomly selected normal school children and in boys with a conduct disorder. Four factors appeared to underlie the TOPS scores from 652 randomly selected boys and girls from grades 1 to 6, these being: teachers' scores for the types of problem situation Being Disadvantaged, Coping with Competition, Social Expectations of Peers, and Teacher Expectations. Because of the high internal consistency of the four factors, TOPS was abbreviated to a TOPS-Short Form (18 instead of 44 items). The four-factor model was cross-validated by means of a second sample of 326 boys and girls. A model with only one general problem behaviour factor did not fit the data of both samples. When the four specific factors were added a satisfactory fit resulted. Moreover, it was found that in the first sample 52% of the variance was explained by the general factor, whereas 18% of the variance was explained by the four specific factors together. Thus, the extent to which problem behaviour is situation specific should not be disregarded. In all four types of problem situation, boys showed more inappropriate behaviour than girls. With increasing age, children were rated as being more competent in dealing with the problem situation Being Disadvantaged. Teachers rated the four types of problem situation as more problematic for boys with a conduct disorder (N = 42) than for normal control boys (N = 67). Conduct disordered boys also differed individually in the number of situational types that were problematic for them. With respect to clinical implications, the identification of the particular social context in which a conduct disordered child displays his or her inappropriate behaviour may help refine treatment goals: more adequate social functioning should be aimed at specifically in those situations that are problematic.

Type
Papers
Copyright
© 2001 Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Assessment of the Situational Specificity of Children's Problem Behaviour in Peer–Peer Context
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Assessment of the Situational Specificity of Children's Problem Behaviour in Peer–Peer Context
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Assessment of the Situational Specificity of Children's Problem Behaviour in Peer–Peer Context
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *