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This research work was aimed at investigating the effects of peer conflict resolution skills training on the psychosocial development of children. Specifically, the author sought to provide answer to one research question which was: What is the role of play as a peer conflict resolution tool? The theoretical underpinning of this study was Morton Deutsch’s theory of cooperation and competition. The study was also informed by Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories on play. A pretest posttest quasi-experimental design was adopted whereby 36 male and female children between 6 to 10 years old were randomly selected for the study. These children were all in class five of secondary school. Eighteen of the selected samples were randomly assigned to the experimental group and the other eighteen to the control group. The children in the experimental group were trained on peer conflict resolution skills for a month (8 sessions in total, 2 days a week, approximately 30 minutes a day) while the children in the control group did not benefit from any such training. A five point Likert scale questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. An observation check list was also employed to measure children’s post training conflict resolution skills. Data were analyzed using the t-test where the mean scores of both the experimental and control groups were compared, as well as a comparison of the mean scores for the pre and post-tests scores. Results indicate that children who took part in the training learnt how to use play to negotiate their differences. They also learnt how to use humor to manage anger. Recommendations were made to parents and teachers to use instances of children’s disagreements as opportunity to teach them of appropriate peer conflict resolution skills rather than just dispelling such emerging differences/disagreements as bad.
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