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Social behaviour is a significant and diverse field of research in early childhood. Researchers have examined many different facets of this topic including prosocial and antisocial behaviour studied concurrently from the perceptions of teachers and parents ( Veenstra, Lindenberg, Oldehinkel, DeWinter, Verhulst, & Ormel, 2008), peer relationships of bullies and victims (Perren & Alsaker, 2006) and children's sociomoral stability(antisocial behaviour inclinations remain stable over time) (Giles & Heyman, 2003). These facets of research enhance pro and antisocial behaviour developmental theories (Veenstra, et al 2008) contributing to the understanding of overall depth of child development. Knowledge in relation to peer relationships and intervention for victims, bullies and bully-victim for younger children is extended as few studies exammened this (Perren & Alsaker, 2006).
Veenstra and colleagues (2008) research on prosocial and antisocial behaviour focused on both behaviours concurrently. Another facet to their study was ascertaining the likelihood of preadolescence prosocial and antisocial behaviour exhibited differently to several informants. (overtly) A child exhibits antisocial behaviour in the perception of one informant and prosocial behaviour in the perception of another informant. This longitudinal cohort examination of Dutch girl and boy preadolescent consisted of a large sample size 2230 students these were examined biennially until they turn 25 years of age (Veenstr, et al, 2008). In contrast to this the smaller stratified random sample size of Perren and Alsker (2006) research involved 344 kindergarten children. Additionally the sample size in the study conducted by and Hayman (2003) contained only 100 preschool aged children. Both (APPROACHES Perren/ Giles ).
Perren and Alsker (2006) research focused on exploring kindergarten children's peer relationships and patterns of social behaviour through examining involvement levels in bully and victim problems (Perren & Alsaker, 2006). Whereas Giles and Hayman (2003) investigative focus was on the stability of behaviour beliefs of preschool children, ascertaining if prosocial behaviour is influenced by theses such beliefs (Giles & Heyman, 2003).
All three of these above mentioned studies used interviewing as one method to research measures in their participants. However parents as informants were interviewed on a variety of topics such as parental psychopathology, child's developmental history, care utilization and somatic health (Veenstra, et al, 2008) in contrast to child interviews (Pereen & Alsker, 2006; Giles & Hayman, 2003). Although both of these studies used child participants, gender specific scenarios were presented in relation to the measures of sociomoral stability and prosocial inference, additionally the children answered questions to measure the endorsement of aggression (Giles & Heyman, 2003). Whilst drawings and photographs were exhibited to the child participants in the measure of bullying and victimization along with friends and playmates, similarly to the previous study questions were asked to measure social cluster size. (Pereen & Alsker, 2006) Furthermore this study adds an extra depth by way of previous visits from the interviewers to the kindergarten children one week prior to examinable interviews, as a result this enabled the children exploration of the interview process through role-playing and stories, thus facilitating the children's knowledge of the interview procedure (Pereen & Alsker, 2006).
Furthermore questionnaires commonly used as a method of research to measure judgments, cognitive ability and attitudes of the participants (White, Hayes & Livesey, 20010) were also employed by all three researchers. Bullying and victimisation measures were rated by the teachers on a 5-point rating scale, similarly the teacher rated measures of social behaviour by a 5-point likert rating scale (Pereen & Alsker, 2006). Moreover teachers were the only participates to partake in a 4-point rating questionnaire on measures of prosocial behaviour in preschool, in addition a 5 point rating scale was used for the measure of teacher ratings of ability (Giles & Heyman, 2003). However teachers, parents and children participated in questionnaires encompassing measures of teacher as informants, parents as informants, family characteristics, sociometric characteristics and individual characteristic (Veenstra, et al, 2008).
Veenstra and colleagues (2008) research explored pro and antisocial behaviour simultaneously thus adding extra depth of knowledge to this field of information as other researchers examine theses issues separately (Veenstra, et al, 2008). Additionally sociocultural facets have a significant influence children's behaviour both prosocially and antisocially when perceive by both parent and teacher informants (Veenstra, et al, 2008).
Perren and Alasker (2006) research highlights peer relations as a substantial facet in victim and bully problems, affecting the group as a whole thus prevention and most effective intervention through a whole group process increases success among younger children, in conjunction with awareness from teachers (Perren & Alsaker, 2006). More however distinctive patterns of social behaviour are displayed in the studies participants with bullies and bully-victims demonstrating related social skills, in contrast to social skills exhibited by victims (Perren & Alsaker, 2006).
Giles and Heyman (2003) research shows, children of preschool age have general beliefs and schemes that they use to facilitate strategies when dealing with peer relationships thus extending children's stability of behaviour beliefs (Giles & Heyman, 2003). This study is also the first in many of its facets, consequently providing vital knowledge to the field. These firsts include the ethnically diverse sample of younger children and the implications of sociomoral beliefs, the association relating children's prosocial behaviour and sociomoral stability beliefs, furthermore the connection of these beliefs to support aggressive behaviour(Giles & Heyman, 2003).
Longitudinal approach conducted on a topic with diminutive attention received while using clusters and correlations collectively, additionally several informants and the considerable number of correlates through its substantial sample size were complementary to this field of research (Veenstra et al., 2008). Thus provides evidence over a long space of time for other researches to examine and extend. On the other hand the approach used by both Giles and Haymen (2003) and Perren and Alsaker (2006)
These three studies show children with strong peer relations are less likely to be bullied or be victims, have strong sociomoral beliefs and show proficient prosocial behaviour skills. Furthermore research on social behaviour encompassing prosocial and antisocial behaviour as well as peer relations facilitates intervention and prevention when knowledge is gained on bullying, problem behaviour developed in later stage of life. Finally future research studies can examine and enhance the knowledge of the topic from the evidence provided as many facets of study were firsts (Giles & Heyman, 2003; Veenstra et al., 2008)