Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Human Development, Consumer and Family Sciences


An explorative study was conducted to try and understand how kindergarten children perceive and define conflict. Since adults tend to think that conflict is a difficult concept for children to understand, the perspective of the child has largely been neglected. Neglecting the perspective of the child has created a gap in the understanding and knowledge of conflict. Therefore, this study addressed (a) how kindergarten children viewed conflict, (b) how kindergarten children responded to conflict, (c) how kindergarten children resolved conflict, and (d) who influenced kindergarten children's resolution skills. Kindergarten children were given the opportunity to express themselves both verbally and artistically in order to better understand the perspective of the child. It was the assumption of this paper that even though children of a young age do not seem to understand the word conflict, they do seem to understand the concept of conflict. The results indicated that, when prompted with pictures illustrating conflict, kindergarten age children were able to verbally express their thoughts and ideas about conflict. They were further able to identify, describe, illustrate and reiterate a personal conflict situation, which further demonstrated their understanding of conflict.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Conflict (Psychology) in children Conflict management Children -- Attitudes



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University