• Journal Article

Prevalence of aggressive behaviors among preschoolers in Head Start and community child care programs

Citation

Kupersmidt, J. B., Bryant, D., & Willoughby, M. (2000). Prevalence of aggressive behaviors among preschoolers in Head Start and community child care programs. Behavioral Disorders, 26(1), 42-52.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess both the prevalence and structure of antisocial behavior among 4 year olds in a Head Start sample compared to a randomly sampled group of children in community child care. The findings were consistent with prior literature suggesting that Head Start children demonstrate higher levels of physical aggression compared to community child care children, whereas community child care children had higher levels of verbal forms of aggression compared to Head Start children. However, Head Start and community child care samples did not differ in the person prevalence of aggression. Across both samples and a range of types of aggressive behavior, boys exhibited aggressive behaviors more frequently than girls. The results of factor analyses on the aggression items with the Head Start sample suggest that a greater number of aggressive behaviors constitute the two aggression (i.e., antisocial, relational) factors than the number of behaviors that uniquely load on these factors for the normative sample. This suggests that aggression may be more complex and multifaceted in a concentrated sample of preschoolers from low-income backgrounds. Results are discussed in terms of (a) the multidimensional nature of aggression during the preschool years and (b) the need for increased mental health services within Head Start and community child care programs for aggressive preschoolers