Sticks and Stones: Evaluations of Responses to Childhood Teasing


The present study addresses children's assessments of responses to teasing. Participants viewed videotaped interactions in which one child was being teased by two other children and responds in one of three ways (i.e., with humor, by ignoring, or with hostility). Participants rated the humorous response to teasing as the most effective way to respond to teasing, followed by ignoring. The hostile response was rated the least effective. The target's response to teasing significantly affected perceptions of the friendliness and popularity of the teasers and target. In addition, participants' previous experiences with teasing, as both victim and teaser, significantly affected their perceptionsof the teasing interaction. Results are discussed as they relate to understanding childhood teasing and effective ways of responding to teasing.

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This article was made available online December 27, 2001.

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