Mirsada M. Džaferović

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The aim of this paper was to explore the effects of implementing a program based on nonviolent communication and the influence of the causes and frequency of conflict behaviour of younger school age children. A quasi-experimental research was carried out, including 180 fourth-grade primary school students. The classes were divided into the control and experimental group by using the randomization method. The groups were matched for gender, age and frequency of conflicts, as demonstrated in the pre-test stage. The research model was quasi-experimental, combining the intra- and inter-group design. For the purposes of this quasi-experimental research, a special scenario composed of 15 workshops that directly dealt with the topics related to nonviolent communication was developed, as well as a survey questionnaire, designed to assess the general modalities of nonviolent communication. The questionnaire consisted of 14 questions with different response formats, and its internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) was satisfactory (α=0.76). In the analysis of the data, the methods of descriptive statistics as well as the methods of nonparametric inferential statistics were used. In order to examine the inter-group differences, two Mann–Whitney U tests (nonparametric substitute for the independent samples t-test) and two Wilcoxon signed-rank tests (nonparametric substitute for the dependent samples t-test) were conducted, followed by four χ2 tests.

The results of the post-test point to the positive effects of implementing the contents of nonviolent communication, with the respondents from the experimental group (average rank=99.12) achieving lower scores than the respondents from the control group (average rank=81.88), suggesting that the students from the experimental group had shown a reduced tendency towardsconflict behaviour. The results related to the frequency of conflict causes, for all four quasi-experimental situations,emphasize, as the most frequent causes of conflict: insults and derogatory name-calling (in all four quasi-experimental situations – 22.44% to 44.44%), saying inappropriate things about one`s family (experimental group – initial assessment and both assessments in the control group; 26.11% to 30.00%), as well as persuading other children not to socialize with the respondent (experimental group –final assessment; 24.44%). The post-test, which assessed the frequency, confirmed the positive effects of the NVC program on the students from the experimental group in relation to the students from the control group.


nonviolent communication, conflict; quasi-experimental design, conflict causes, conflict frequency.

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