Tantrums and anxiety in early childhood

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
Wordcount: 2003 words

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One of the many tasks of the early childhood educator is to keep abreast of current research developments in the field. Research on brain development, learning strategies, guidance techniques, and working with parents, and so forth has dramatically altered and hopefully improved practice over the years.


Select three papers from any of the issues of Early Childhood Research & Practice listed in the right-hand margin. Only papers are acceptable. "Features" or "Observations and Reflections" are not allowed since they are not research based.

Early Childhood Research & Practice

Once you have selected three papers of interest to you, and they need not cover the same topic, read them and then complete a brief review of each article.

For each review, please use the outline format below:

  1. Title and author of article
  2. Brief summary of the article (please do not retype the abstract or the summary; summarize the article in your own words)
  3. Purpose of the article
  4. Population studied
  5. Conclusions presented in the article
  6. How you would apply this research in an early education setting.


The article review is due in Assignments, Tests and Surveys on Tuesday, February 23rd by 11:30pm. This assignment is worth 50 points. A 15-point late deduction will be taken for work submitted beyond the due date. The last day to submit late work is May 18th at 11:30pm.

The grading rubric that will be used to evaluate this assignment is located in Resources on the left-hand navigation tree.

Please note: Only articles from the Early Childhood Research & Practice Journal may be used. If articles from other sources are used, they will not be counted. All work must be original. Work plagiarized from any other source--that is taken and presented as the student's own when it was in fact written by someone else--will result in a zero. This includes copying and pasting content from any of the articles chose, or any other articles. In addition, the plagiarized work will be submitted to the Vice President of Student Services for his evaluation of academic dishonesty. Please be forewarned

Title and author of article

"Tantrums and Anxiety in Early Childhood: A Pilot Study" Written by Gina Mireault and Jessica Trahan

Brief summary

According to the authors of "Tantrums and Anxiety in Early Childhood: A Pilot Study," the anxiety of children could have a significant relationship with the tantrums, as well as be factor that cause them. Studying tantrums and its factors is important because of concerns about having long lasting effect in children's behavior and assure the best forms to counteract those. The study's information, gathered by the children's parents, using measures as Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Tantrum Questionnaire, showed that there isn't any relationship that anxiety could be a factor responsible for tantrums neither that have any connection. However, the authors, concludes that results can change since that population participated in this research was a small proportion and it can't be generalized, as well as because others question arise about if with different mechanism tantrums and anxiety could be associated.

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Purpose of the article

The purpose of the article was to study the tantrums, as their factors and their aspects; a well as to resolve the assumption that anxiety could be also a factor that cause those frequent and common tantrums on children. Moreover, the study also would target if the counteract actions to stop those could also have a relation with anxiety.

Population studied

In this study a small group participated; integrated by 33 children, 15 males and 18 females, between the ages of 3 and 5, and their respective parents.

Conclusions presented in the article

The research conclude that after gathering all the information with the help of the children's parents, the study showed that the tantrum's frequency on the majority of the children studied was that tantrums occurred often and those were noticeable and distracting. However, anxiety was not found to be a factor that could cause tantrums neither to have any relation with the tantrums' aspects. Since , this research was not generalized and it pop out another important questions, that authors suggest that consider that anxiety could be link to tantrums and to care about the way to handle children's tantrums.

How you would apply this research in an early education setting.

This research was very interesting since it showed me some tantrums' factors and the usual parenting forms to handle those. After to know that is true that there are not many researches on tantrums and if anxiety could be an important factor to cause them; I would truly be aware and consciously observed children tantrums in my work setting as an early childhood teacher. Since, anxiety could truly be a linked to tantrums, observation needs to be primary before I could act to a child's tantrums, so I can make a good choice to manage those without affecting the child in any way.

Title and author of article

"Who's the Boss? Young Children's Power and Influence in an Early Childhood Classroom. Written by Yoon-Joo Lee and Susan L. Recchia

Brief summary of the article (please do not retype the abstract or the summary; summarize the article in your own words)

In the research "Who's the Boss? Young Children's Power and Influence in an Early Childhood Classroom," authors Yoon-Joo Lee and Susan L. Recchia present their study about the impact and the ways that children's power influence the classroom' socialization. Different examples where addressed about how the role of power of three preschool children made a powerful influence towards their other classmates and sometimes towards their teachers. The children' power made teachers felt challenged by these children and at times they might not even realize they were being influenced. The results showed that this powerful influence had an impact, both positive and negative. The authors suggest that teacher need to analyze every situation where powerful influence by children could happen, to achieve a balance of power where all the children's voices can be heard, and encouraged equal opportunity.

Purpose of the article

The purpose was to study the children's influential power that is seen over other children and over their own teachers, as well as the effect that it has within socialization in a preschool class.

Population studied

Three preschool children were studied, with the helped of two head teachers that were able to answers interviews about this children and themselves.

Conclusions presented in the article

The authors conclude that Children's influential power towards other children could be positive, because it makes children be engaged in some other enriched activities but also this influential power can be negative because sometimes unfairness takes place in some classroom activities by these influential children. Moreover, the authors addressed that teacher uncomfortable way towards this children's behavior could be based on the way of the teacher's ideas of a democratic classroom, and the teacher's way to solve some situations, not always is the best way, since in some of this situations teacher may allow some children to have more power than the others, even though this is not their intention.

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How you would apply this research in an early education setting.

The article showed me many interesting examples of how some children could have influential power over other and even over teacher without these notice it. I haven't had the opportunity to witness this role of power by preschool children, but I had observed some children of my neighborhood and it's really true how this power impact other children in negative ways and positive as well. I would apply this research as based to how to handle some powerful situation by children where I'll doing my practicum, so avoid the mistake of giving more power to some children than other. Nevertheless, I will need to be alert in every situation, carefully observing, to assure a democratic classroom environment.

Title and author of article

Exposure to Media Violence and Other Correlates of Aggressive Behavior in Preschool Children Written by Laura A. Daly and Linda M. Perez

Brief summary of the article

According to the authors of "Exposure to Media Violence and Other Correlates of Aggressive Behavior in Preschool Children," the aggressive behavior was led by the possible main influence by TV violence programs that preschool children watched. Reaching methods found that watching violent TV programs isn't a principal source that produce a change on children's behavior, however, it can influenced the child's behavior with the accompany of other factors. Gender, father's presence, mother's age, and a poor self- regulation were address to be other influential factors that contribute to an aggressive behavior. Nevertheless, the authors conclude that since the children are in the process of self-regulation that amount of violent TV programs seen by preschool children have to be reduced.

Purpose of the article

The purpose of the research was to find out if violence shows in television programming could be related with violent aggression seen in preschool children during their play time, as well as to examine other factors and variables as the child's gender and age, that influence a change in the children's behavior.

Population studied

The population that participated in the study was integrated by 30 preschool teachers and 70 children, 32 females and 38 males; they were from seven different preschools, as well as the children's parents.

Conclusions presented in the article

The violence in television that children watch was not the main factor that made the children act aggressively during their play times; however it is an important influential via that together with the low self-regulation that preschool children have, together with gender, can conduct to have an aggressive behavior. Moreover, researchers found that as the mother age, children's age and the fact that children were living with both of their parents were the principal factors that led to have a higher self- regulation and for instant a better pro-social behavior.

How you would apply this research in an early education setting.

Reading through this research, it was possible to be aware about the factors that make children behave aggressively during their time to play. This research was very helpful as well in the fact that led teachers knows that we truly need to be a good support for children in the way as helpers for their development of their self- regulation. Teachers know now that children do not act aggressively just because they are been disrespectful; instead this behavior is influenced by many factors including their undeveloped prefrontal cortex. Teachers definitely can't avoid children to watch TVs programs that content violence, however teachers can be a good support to help them and guide them on controlling their behavior.


  • Mireault, G., & Trahan, J. (2007, Fall). Tantrums and Anxiety in Early Childhood: A Pilot Study.
  • Lee, Y.-J., & Recchia, S. L. (2008, Spring). "Who's the Boss?" Young Children's Power and Influence in an Early Childhood Classroom.
  • Daly, L. A., & Perez, L. M. (2009, Fall). Exposure to Media Violence and Other Correlates of Aggressive Behavior in Preschool Children.


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