Main Article Content
The main purpose of the study was to ascertain the functioning of social interest realisation (cooperation, help, competition, leadership) in the Hungarian context at the ages of 8, 12, 15 and 18. Some dimensions of these forms of behaviour were assessed with a Likert-type questionnaire developed by our research group. Besides children’s evaluations, teachers and mothers also evaluated the dimensions of forms of behaviour. In addition, we examined the emotional background of the dimensions, for which we developed another questionnaire. The dimensions formed six factors on the basis of a factor analysis. Based on a regression analysis for all factors, we explained a considerable proportion of the variance observed with other social assertion factors, and this was noted in all age groups. Four of the six factors showed an increasing tendency (the values increased with age); for example the 15- and 18-year-old participants wished to assert their interests in groups more often. Two factors demonstrated a decreasing tendency; for example the 8- and 12-year-old children obeyed leaders and rules more often than the older participants. Gender differences could especially be found in the 15- and 18-year-old group. In most cases, the teachers rated factors to be the least developed, whereas children’s ratings were somewhat higher than those of teachers. The highest values were observed in mothers’ ratings. The correlations between the raters were very different, and the values increased with age in the case of the children. Emotional background was very diverse for all four forms of behaviour. In the case of most of the dimensions, the positive and negative emotional backgrounds changed with age. For example for the 8- and 12-year-olds, the end of a competition represented a positive emotional background, in contrast to the 15- and 18-year olds, for whom this dimension had a negative emotional background.