Children use make-believe aggression and violence to manage bad-tempered peers

Children are more likely to introduce violent themes into their pretend play, such as imaginary fighting or killing, if they are with playmates whom peers consider bad-tempered, new research suggests. Academics believe that the tendency for children to introduce aggressive themes in these situations – which seems to happen whether or not they are personally easy to anger – may be because they are ‘rehearsing’ strategies to cope with hot-headed friends.