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Assessment of Temper Tantrums Behaviour Among Preschool Children in Jordan

Published:February 24, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2021.02.008

      Highlights

      • Around half the children (49.8%) experienced weekly tantrums.
      • Screaming or shouting and crying were the most frequently reported tantrum behaviours (99.1% for each).
      • Child wanting attention was the most commonly reported reason for tantrums (87.3%).
      • The most common context for tantrums was when child was visiting someone else's house (90.1%).
      • Stating a consequence and ignoring the behaviour were the main strategies used to manage tantrums (61.5%, 59.2% respectively)

      Abstract

      Purpose

      A good understanding of children's emotions, activities, and needs should be promoted. This study assessed temper tantrum behaviour, including frequency, severity, duration, common behaviours, reasons, locations, contexts, and parent's strategies, among Jordanian children aged 24–48 months.

      Design and methods

      A cross-sectional design was used to conduct this study. A non-probability convenience sample was adopted to recruit 213 parents of children aged between 24 months to 48 months. All parents completed the Parents' Experience of Temper Tantrums in Children's questionnaire.

      Results

      Findings showed that about half of the children experienced weekly tantrums, however, half of the parents reported that mild tantrums were exhibited by their youngsters, with an average duration of minutes. The most frequently reported tantrum behaviour was ‘screaming or shouting’. “Seeking attention” was the most frequent reason and most tantrums occurred when visiting someone else's home. Unfamiliar situations were the most commonly associated with tantrum episodes. The main strategies used by parents to lessen their child's tantrums were first, stating a consequence (e.g., timeout), and secondly, ignoring the behaviour.

      Conclusions

      The results draw attention to significant aspects of tantrums, such as the duration, where children managed to maintain a tantrum episode for more than seven minutes on average. Tantrum behaviours, reasons, locations, context, and parents' strategies to control tantrums were significant in developing proper interv entions.

      Practice implications

      The findings of this study are of practical use in equipping parents and caregivers with the appropriate strategies to enable them to halt tantrums among children.

      Keywords

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