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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Esther A. Cohen

First Committee Member

Kenneth L. Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Third Committee Member

Roger C. Katz


This study examined the effects of teaching nurturance to preschool-aged boys on their aggressive, nurturant, and prosocial behavior. The subjects were four 4-year-old boys enrolled in a Head Start Program. Teachers identified two of the boys as aggressive and two as typical of their peers in aggressive behavior. The intervention, nurturing doll play, was introduced in a multiple baseline across subjects design. The boys were observed for aggressive, nurturant, and prosocial behavior during observational play sessions and in natural play settings. Results did not provide clear evidence that the intervention decreased aggression or increased nurturance or prosocial behavior in all 4 boys. However, after treatment was implemented, 2 boys showed a slight decrease in aggression, I boy showed an increase in nurturance, and 3 boys exhibited a small increase in prosocial behavior.



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