Children's Responses to Interadult Anger as a Function of Information About Resolution

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Abstract

In everyday family environments, conflict resolution in the presence of children is often not feasible. Can children still benefit from other sources of information about resolution? Analogue studies presented 5- to 6-year-old and 9- to 10-year-old children with videotaped scenarios of interadult conflicts ending in various ways. Study 1 demonstrated that negative effects of adults' disputes on children are reduced even by “resolution behind closed doors.” Study 2 showed that negative reactions are also reduced by an adult's subsequent description of a resolution. Even 5- to 6-year-olds were capable of inferring resolution from incomplete information.

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