Decisions and justifications of Turkish children about social exclusion/inclusion concerning gender, disadvantaged groups and aggressiveness in relation to age and prosocial behaviour

Gönül, Buse
The main aim of the current study is to explore children’s decision and justification patterns on social exclusion and inclusion, across gender, disadvantaged groups, and aggressiveness themes in different social contexts. In order to have a complementary insight about the issue, the predictive role of individual factors, as age and prosocial behavior were also examined. 150 children from two age groups of 10 and 13 completed a questionnaire, including three tasks as; forced-choice questions about daily interactions and group activities, and a story completion task. Results showed that when children were asked to evaluate daily interactions, all have dominant patterns regarding their decisions and justifications, in tune with the stereotypes. When they reason about exclusion/inclusion in group activities, they showed different evaluation patterns considering moral values, social norms and group functioning, showing age effect for the gender theme and prosocial behavior effect on disadvantaged theme, and finally an overall pattern in aggressiveness regardless of age and prosocial behavior. In a novel task of story completion about each theme, we found novel findings showing that younger children do more inclusion compared to older ones, however they choose to exclude the aggressive child in their own stories, extensively. The implications of the study for theory, practice and research with limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed in light of literature.