SSCD and externalizing behaviour: A comparison between children in special and mainstream education
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This study partially replicates the 2010 study by De Bunt who found a mediator effect for self-serving cognitive distortions (SSCD) in the relationship between moral evaluation and externalizing behaviour with children between 7 and 12 years in a residential setting. The current study expects that similar results can be found in a clinical sample of children with less severe externalizing behaviour. Results will give a further theoretical advance in our knowledge of the development of externalizing behaviour. This knowledge will enable researchers to improve prevention and intervention methods for alleviating this behaviour. Furthermore, the role of empathy will be explored. The sample included 31 children in special primary school and 31 children in mainstream education, both aged 7 to 12. Although relationships between moral evaluation and externalizing behaviour and SSCD and externalizing behaviour are found, no mediation effect of SSCD or empathy is found in this clinical sample. Therefore, theories considering the development of externalizing behaviour do not have to be revised. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.