Social determinants of aggression in a sample of Chinese primary school children


  • S. Ekblad

    Corresponding author
    1. Dept. of Psychiatry (Head: Prof. Bengt Jansson), Huddinge University Hospital/Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
      Dept. of Psychiatry I, M56 Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Huddinge Sweden
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Dept. of Psychiatry I, M56 Huddinge University Hospital S-141 86 Huddinge Sweden


ABSTRACT— The aim of the present study was to relate children's aggression levels to social determinants of interest (i. e., child-rearing measures, day-care attendance, peer group influence, and TV-watching) in a sample of Chinese children in the People's Republic of China. A sample of 290 primary school students (155 boys and 135 girls, mean age 10.3) in grade four in Beijing were investigated using the Multi-Faceted Aggression Inventory. The children's parents were asked about child-rearing measures and day-care experience for the child. Teachers rated the children's aggression, school achievement level, and membership in the Young Pioneers.

Despite acknowledged limitations, the findings in this study gave evidence that according to a person-environment interaction perspective, the Chinese children's individual differences in aggression were influenced by the restricted environment. As aggressive behaviour is undesired and suppressed in the Chinese culture in and outside the home, the Chinese children seemed to show lower levels and less variation of aggression behaviour than children in permissive environments (e. g., Sweden). However, when analysing sex differeces in aggression environmental influences alone might not explain the differences.