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Dominance hierarchies in normal and conduct-disordered children

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Abstract

Two groups of conduct-disordered children in day treatment and two groups of normal matched controls were observed over eight sessions in a free-play situation. The purpose of the study was to examine whether disturbed children formed dominance hierarchies, and to compare the power relations among disturbed children to those of normal peers. Results indicated that the hospitalized children did form dominance hierarchies, although their hierarchies were not as stable as those of their normal peers. Moreover, an inverse relation was noted between intragroup conflict and the hierarchy's stability. In addition, the pattern of targeting differed between the normal and disturbed youngsters. Conflict among the children in both control groups tended to be concentrated among members of adjacent ranks. The disturbed children, on the other hand, were less discriminating as to their target's rank, exhibited greater intragroup conflict, and lost more frequently in their agonistic encounters.

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Correspondence to M. Mary Konstantareas.

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Konstantareas, M.M., Homatidis, S. Dominance hierarchies in normal and conduct-disordered children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 13, 259–267 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00910646

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Keywords

  • Matched Control
  • Power Relation
  • Inverse Relation
  • Dominance Hierarchy
  • Agonistic Encounter