The Peer Context In Middle Childhood

Chapter 6

The Peer Context In Middle Childhood

Willard W. Hartup socialization in the peer context varies from culture to culture, with considerable version existing in the onset of a child ‘s earliest experiences with early children. In most societies, children begin to socialize with one another in early childhood ; sustained and coordinated social interaction becomes discernible in the years between 3 and 6. Both quantitative and qualitative changes occur in middle childhood, and, between the ages of 6 and 12, socialization in the peer context becomes a central issue in children ‘s lives. The peer system can be represented as a matrix of context and components ( see ). The erect axis of this matrix consists of a hierarchical order ( Hinde, 1976 ) of diverse social context. The most basic of these are interactions, i.e., meaningful encounters between two or more individuals. Relationships are interactions between individuals ( known to each other ) that persist over time and that involve expectations, affects, and characteristic configurations of interactions. Groups, subsuming both interactions and relationships, possess geomorphologic and prescriptive dimensions that are not apparent in either of the other context ; most normally, groups are polyadic rather than dyadic. Macrostructures are higher-order social context, including entities that we normally call institutions or societies. These macrostructures consist of dynamic interrelationships among the interactions, relationships, and groups that constitute them.

Figure 6-1

The peer system. Peer context involve specific objects and events occurring in specific times and locations. Three situational components can be identified : the set up, the ”problem, ” and the actors. Settings dwell of the milieu in which social bodily process occurs. Problems consist of the challenges existing in these settings that activate or energize the individuals involved. The actors are the individuals with whom the prey child interacts. Using this matrix we can describe the social organization, content, affects, and diversity of the peer system—in each case as a serve of context and part. This matrix is not a model of the peer system or a theory of social dynamics ; it is a simpleton conventional that can be used to describe the peer system as it has been examined empirically. Less a theoretical statement than a pragmatic sanction device, this matrix focuses care on the versatile levels of the individual ‘s commerce with early children. consequently, in the versatile sections of this chapter, peer relationships in middle childhood are discussed with an emphasis on child-child interactions and their changes with long time ; close relationships and their significance ; group geological formation and functioning ; and interconnections between the peer system and two macrostructures—the family and the school. Peer interaction and the socialization of the individual child are examined in relation to conditions of the set up and the identity of the individuals with whom children interact. methodological issues are discussed, specially the problems encountered in obtaining naturalistic data .

Peer Contexts


Child-child interaction differs from adult-child interaction in many ways. Barker and Wright ( 1955 ) observed that children ‘s actions toward adults are weighted chiefly with appeals and submissive acts ; actions of adults toward children consist chiefly of laterality and nurturance. These interactions are frankincense concentrated in two complemental issues : the child ‘s dependence on the adult and the adult ‘s necessitate to control the child. In line, the most common actions of children toward child associates are sociability and assertiveness/aggression. cross-cultural observations ( Whiting and Whiting, 1975 ) are reproducible with these results, as are holocene interviews with american schoolchildren ( Youniss, 1980 ). Children see themselves as recipients of adult actions quite than frailty versa. In contrast, child-child interactions are seen as revolving around equal exchanges between the actors. Concordantly, “ kindnesses ” in adult-child interactions are conceived as actions confirming complementary expectations, whereas kindnesses in child-child interactions dwell of actions confirming more egalitarian expectations. close relationships ( for example, friendships or parent-child relationships ) normally involve mixtures of complementary color and equal interactions, but this does not negate the dissertation that children differentiate between adult-child and child-child relationships chiefly in terms of this dichotomy. The time that children spend in concert and the nature of their interactions when they are on their own are not well documented. Patterns of interaction have been most extensively examined in ad hoc settings, chiefly schools, and it is largely on an anecdotic footing that we have concluded that more and more fourth dimension is devoted to child-child interactions in middle childhood. Observations of 8 children, each covering an integral day ( Barker and Wright, 1955 ), revealed that approximately 85 percentage of the children ‘s activities were social and that the proportion spent with child associates rose from 10 percentage at age 2, to 20 percentage at age 4, to slenderly over 40 percentage between ages 7 and 11. The school-age children engaged in an average of 299 behavior episodes ( i.e., interactional segments marked by ceaseless commission and captive ) with other child associates in a distinctive school day, 45 of these with siblings and the remainder with friends. Detailed records based on observations of one of these children ( Barker and Wright, 1951 ) indicate that most of these episodes consisted of toy or “ fooling around ” and that the interactions consisted chiefly of sociability and dominance exchanges. Although these measures are unmanageable to translate into time units, it can however be concluded that time spent with child associates consumed hours rather than minutes. More recent time-use studies clarify, to some extent, what children do with one another on their own. even sol, the frequencies of their activities and the structures of the social interactions remain unstudied. Using interviews with 764 sixth graders in Oakland, California, Medrich et alabama. ( 1982 ) asked the children to enumerate “ what you like to do when you are with your friends. ” Responses covered a stove indicate that, in contrast to clock spent alone, children spend their meter with their friends engaged in physically active or “ robust ” interactions. Team sports accounted for 45 percentage and 26 percentage of the enumerations of boys and girls, respectively, although early types of full-bodied interactions such as “ cosmopolitan play, ” “ going places, ” and “ socialize ” were more normally mentioned by girls than by boys. These interactions occurred most much outside the base, although close to home and more frequently in private than in populace places ( for example, parks and playgrounds ), and were segregated by sex. overall, it appears that a substantial share of the schoolchild ‘s casual universe is spent in peer interaction and that the subject of this interaction consists chiefly of play and socialize. Children in many cultures besides share work experiences in which they take turns and substitute for one another to a greater extent than when they work with adults ( Weisner, 1982 ). The proportion of child-child interactions spent in make and in play therefore varies from polish to culture, but the nature of this interaction seems universally to be more classless than the interaction that occurs between children and adults. The two classes of child-child interaction most extensively studied in developmental terms are aggression and prosocial action. overall, aggression decreases in middle childhood, although both mode and content change ( Parke and Slaby, 1983 ). physical aggression ( more common among boys than among girls ) and quarreling decrease, although abusive verbal exchanges increase. Schoolchildren typically engage in implemental aggression ( directed toward retrieving objects and the like ) less frequently than younger children, although person-directed hostile aggression is more common among older ones. Increasingly salient in middle childhood are insults, derogation, and other threats to self-esteem ( Hartup, 1974 ). Between ages 6 and 12, aggressive boys are more ready to attribute hostile captive to others than are unaggressive boys. In summation, their associates more often impute hostile intentions to aggressive than unaggressive boys, and the former are more frequently targets of aggression ( Dodge, 1980 ; Dodge and Frame, 1982 ). individual differences in aggression among school-age males therefore come to be associated with social cognitive biases ( a willingness to perceive hostility in others ), negative experiences with others, and “ bad ” social reputations. Certain studies indicate that sharing and early forms of altruism increase in middle childhood ; others suggest that these growth functions are more building complex ( Radke-Yarrow et al., 1983 ). In one investigation, for example, no kinship was found between long time and the sum of sharing among kindergarten and second and fourthly rate students, but among the older children more individuals shared, more individuals shared in “ complex ” situations, and more advance reason was used to rationalize the altruism ( Bar-Tal et al., 1980 ). placid other evidence suggests that historic period differences in altruism vary according to context. Kindergarten children were found to intervene directly in assisting another child with a unmanageable job, but third graders differentiated their aid according to the situation—the older children would normally offer suggestions or aid before actually giving it, and sometimes intervention would be withheld wholly ( Milburg, McCabe, and Kobasigawa, unpublished data ). thus, there is evidence that complex attributions become increasingly involved in prosocial interactions a well as aggressive interactions in middle childhood. contest, in contrast to cooperation, increases with age when rewards are allocated in proportion to the total of points accumulated in a game ( Avellar and Kagan, 1976 ) or when points are tallied ( McClintock, 1974 ). These old age gradients occur more clearly in some cultures ( the United States, Japan ) than in others ( Mexico, Kenya ). With result controlled, competitive preferences are not as clearly apparent, and in some tasks cooperation increases with age ( Kagan et al., 1977 ; Skarin and Moely, 1976 ). chronological age and goal social organization therefore seem to interact in children ‘s cooperative and competitive choices. Studies of american children reveal that increases in competition under winner-takes-all conditions occur chiefly in the preschool years ; cooperation under shared wages conditions increases chiefly between ages 6 and 8 ; and age differences in individualistic ( proportional reward ) conditions vary according to the manner in which a child ‘s gains are linked to the gains of others ( McClintock and Moskowitz, 1976 ; McClintock et al., 1977 ). With time, children differentially use strategies that coincide with the goal structures associated with obtaining valued outcomes. Children do not simply become more competitive or accommodative as they grow older. They become sensible to the contingencies controlling the incentives that are important to them. Again, cognitive and social factors seem to determine the nature of child-child interactions in center childhood. More detail studies, including lead assessment of the attributions made by children in distress or conflict situations, are relatively rare. We know that ( a ) the social cues used in interactions ( for example, facial expression, vocal intonation ) are encoded with increasing accuracy between ages 6 and 10 ( Girgus and Wolf, 1975 ) ; ( b ) ocular attention is increasingly use in conversation ( Levine and Sutton-Smith, 1973 ) ; ( deoxycytidine monophosphate ) increases occur in speakers ‘ abilities to transmit information about elementary problems to listeners and to respond appropriately to queries from their listeners, and listeners ‘ utilization of feedback improves ( see, e.g., Karabenick and Miller, 1977 ) ; ( five hundred ) abilities to infer motivation and captive in fake social situations increase in middle childhood, although these trends are most discernible in cognitively building complex situations ( see Shantz, 1983 ) ; and ( einsteinium ) increases occur in children ‘s abilities to integrate two sources of data as opposed to one ( Brady et al., 1983 ). These results suggest that a variety of cognitive constraints on sociable interaction become less discernible in in-between childhood. These constraints appear to involve the tease, memory, and retrieval of information vitamin a well as the integration and application of information in social situations. Existing studies therefore provide a general portrayal of child-child interactions between ages 6 and 12. First, clock time spent with child associates increases. Second, children become more ace at sending and receiving messages, in utilizing information from a assortment of sources to determine their actions toward other children, in making causal attributions, and in coordinating their actions with those of others. We are lone beginning, however, to understand the manner in which changes in the content and structure of child-child interactions reflect changes in cognitive operation ( Hartup et al., 1983 ) .


Social Attraction

Sociometric techniques have been used to examine the characteristics that make children attractive to one another. normally, sociometric interviews are administered concurrently with personality and intelligence tests or with behavioral ratings made by teachers, children, or observers, and the respective scores are correlated. We know three things. foremost, social attraction is associated with sociocultural conditions. Social classify is positively correlated with attractiveness ( Grossman and Wrighter, 1948 ), and holocene studies indicate that socioeconomic variations may exist in the values concomitant with sociometric condition. For example, popularity in middle-class schools is correlated with the function of positive verbal overtures among children, whereas status in propertyless schools is associated with the use of nonverbal overtures. Middle-class children who engage in nonverbal interactions, tied though positive, are actually rejected more frequently than children who do not use these techniques ( Gottman et al., 1975 ). moment, characteristics of the child are correlated with social attraction. Being liked is associated with being physically attractive, socially outgoing, and supportive of others ; achievements in school and in sports are besides positively associated with social attraction. Being rejected is associated with being unattractive, unfledged, disruptive, and aggressive in indirect ways. Rejected children, however, are not necessarily more aggressive in general than their nonrejected peers ( see Hartup, 1983 ). Third, children ‘s reputations mirror these differences. Sociometric “ stars ” and “ average ” children have social reputations that are accepting and that allow them considerable flexibility in dealing with their companions ( New-comb and Rogosch, 1982 ). These children are regarded by their associates as cooperative, supportive, and attractive ( Cole et al., 1982 ). Rejected children are restricted by their reputations and the negative expectations of their companions. They tend to be perceived as disruptive and indirectly aggressive ( Coie et al., 1982 ). The causal connections underlying these results are presumably bidirectional. That is, the well-liked child appears to possess a repertoire of effective social skills and a plus social reputation—conditions associated with a high probability that early children will behave supportively. This support in turn maintains the competent behaviors and the child ‘s social repute. similarly, negative attributes seem to undergird negative social reputations, nonsupportive feedback from one ‘s associates, and in change state a sequel of the negative behaviors ( see Coie and Kupersmidt, 1983 ; Dodge and Frame, 1982 ). Certain slope effects of these conditions have been documented. popular and rule out children, for exercise, are members of classifiable social networks. Rejected children, compared with popular children, socialize on the resort area in small groups and more frequently interact with younger and/ or unpopular companions. The social networks of democratic children are more likely to be composed of common friends and to be characterized as clannish ( Ladd, 1983 ). These classifiable networks suggest the being of a self-maintaining cleavage between democratic and rejected children. Social attraction frankincense seems to involve a nexus of social skills, social reputations, the extent to which one socializes with friends, and the largeness of one ‘s social earth. Most likely this nexus is mediated through an intricate set of self-attitudes and emotions. To date, studies of self-esteem, self-conceptions, and social acceptance have not been convincing. several investigators have noted belittled correlations between self-esteem and popularity ( Horowitz, 1962 ; Sears and Sherman, 1964 ), but other results suggest that any correlation coefficient is curvilineal. Reese ( 1961 ) found that children with moderately high self-esteem were good accepted by their peers than were children with either moo or very high self-esteem. sixth graders with high self-esteem have been shown to make more extreme statements about the likability of others than their moo self-esteem counterparts ; the extent to which these children believe their evaluations of others are reciprocal is besides positively related to self-esteem ( Cook et al., 1978 ). But the self-system is involved in social relationships in very complex ways. Dodge and Frame ( 1982 ), for exercise, found that aggressive boys were characterized by hostile attribution biases only when the incitement was directed toward themselves. These biases were not discernible in situations involving provocations directed at person else. developmental changes in sociable attraction have been examined relatively rarely. For one thing, the characteristics associated with sociometric status do not appear to change with age. Friendliness is as strongly associated with popularity among older children as among younger children ; indirect aggression is as powerfully associated with rejection. Nevertheless, late investigations reveal that more of the variance in social preferences can be predicted by fewer variables among young children than among older children. Social impact, besides, rests on fewer attributes among younger children than among older ones ( Cole et al., 1982 ). The results thus seem to indicate that person percept becomes more speciate as children grow older—a termination that is reproducible with the results of early investigations in which children ‘s descriptions of one another were examined in relative to chronological age ( Livesley and Bromley, 1973 ). besides, certain sociometric dimensions may become increasingly static in the years between 6 and 12. For example, rejection status was observed to be stable over a 5-year span when assessment was initiated in the fifth grade but only over 3 years when initiated in the third grade ( Coie and Dodge, 1983 ). These results suggest that a “ crystallization ” may occur in social relationships toward the end of middle childhood .

Friendship Selection

Children and their friends normally live in the same neighborhood, a discipline that prevails in both early and middle childhood ( Epstein, in press ; Fine, 1980 ). Young children depend on their caretakers to put them in contact with other children more than school-age children do, and classroom proximity becomes salient in friendship excerpt in middle childhood. Conditions within classrooms, including seating arrangements and classroom organization, are besides reflected in friendship choice. Children select their friends chiefly from among children their own age. When classroom conditions favor mixed-age choices ( as in a one-room school ), more than 67 percentage of children in the first 6 grades have one or more friends of some other age ( Allen and Devin-Sheehan, 1976 ). however, the inclination for children and their friends to be exchangeable in age is very impregnable. Whether this concordance derives from the old age segregation that marks most schools and children ‘s institutions or from children ‘s own preferences is not certain. furthermore, there may be no way to resolve this return, since historic period marking is permeant in western cultures. Children and their friends are most normally of the like arouse ( Tuma and Hallinan, 1977 ). This harmony peaks between ages 6 and 12, even though same-sex choices are more coarse than other-sex choices from the preschool years through adolescence. Since arouse segregation is not common in schools except in sports activities, the harmony may derive from norms generated by children themselves rather than from the normative expectations of adults. Fewer cross-race friendship selections occur in integrate classrooms than would be expected on the footing of luck, and this cleavage increases between ages 6 and 12—as determined by longitudinal studies ( Singleton and Asher, 1979 ). racial differentiations are not as strong in children ‘s survival of playmates or work companions as in friendship choices, and age differences are not as discernible ( Asher et al., 1982 ). behavioral similarities and their function in common attraction in center childhood have not been well studied. Kandel ( 1978 ), on the basis of one study of a large sample of adolescents, concluded that these similarities are not particularly crucial in the selection of associates, except for similarities in significant nonnormative attitudes ( for example, about drug habit ). Given the importance to children of “ doing things in concert ” with their friends, it is unmanageable to believe that behavioral concordances are irrelevant in these selections ( Smollar and Youniss, 1982 ). Nevertheless, except for a belittled act of investigations using global measures such as IQ, school accomplishment, or sociometric status, which show identical humble concordance between children and their friends, this publish has not been close examined. This state of affairs is unfortunate, since it has been known for some clock time that school-age children, like adults, demonstrate greater attraction for peers with whom they parcel many attitudes than for individuals with whom they partake relatively few ( Byrne and Griffitt, 1966 ) .


Friendship constitution begins with acquaintance. As two individuals become familiar with each other, attraction seems to increase ( Berscheid and Walster, 1978 ). mere exposure ( Zajonc, 1968 ) may account for these effects, and familiarization may besides establish a guarantee floor for social interaction ; furthermore, as individuals become acquainted with one another, their social repertoires become good meshed and more efficient. respective studies ( by and large with younger children ) support these ideas. To date, however, these hypotheses have not been used to any bang-up extent in investigations with school-age children. To investigate children ‘s notions about the manner in which two individuals become friends, Smollar and Youniss ( 1982 ) asked three questions of subjects between ages 6 and 13 : “ What do you think might happen to make ten and Y become friends ? ” “ not become friends ” “ To become best friends ? ” The children ‘s responses differed according to their ages. Younger children indicated that strangers would become friends if they did something together or did something particular for one another. Children would become best friends, according to the younger children, if they could spend increase amounts of time together, particularly external school. In contrast, the older children emphasized getting to know each other ( “ speak and lecture and find out if they like the same things ” ) ; discovering similarities between themselves was considered necessity to becoming best friends. not becoming friends was associated among the younger children with damaging or inequitable interaction. This stipulate was identified among the older children with the discovery that two individuals are different. What is interesting in these findings is the revelation that harmony was viewed as all-important in friendship constitution at all ages ; it was chiefly the expression of these concordances that differed with senesce. Younger children emphasized concrete reciprocities, while older children emphasized psychological similarities ( for example, in personality, likes, and attitudes ). Microanalytic studies of acquaintance interactions do not extend more than to the foremost few encounters between children. about no developmental studies have been executed. first base encounters differ with respect to a number of conditions, including the sociometric condition of the children involved. When both children are of high-status, information giving and seeking are more patronize than when both children are of low condition. Discussions about school, sports, the children themselves, and their acquaintances are common. Pairs of third- and fourth-grade children that include one high-status and one low-status child are virtually identical in these respects to those of two high-level children, presumably because the interaction is driven by the high-status extremity ( Newcomb and Meister, 1982 ). A second gear probe revealed that “ stars ” and sociometrically “ average ” third-grade children engaged in more basic natural process and information exchange, earlier attack of affectional communication, and game-playing than “ isolate ” or “ rejected ” dyads. In contrast, isolates and rejected children attempted to initiate games more frequently but engaged in more inappropriate interactions than did stars or median dyads ( Newcomb et al., 1982 ). These analyses thus indicate that a major function of the early encounters between children is assessment of interests and similarities. other studies indicate that synchronization is an result of the early encounters between strangers. Brody et alabama. ( in press ) observed triads of first-and third-grade children from different classrooms before and after a series of five maneuver sessions. Postfamiliarization measures revealed more verbal interaction and better tax operation than among control subjects, indicating better enmesh of individual contributions to task solution. Since bare exposure seems to have variable effects on social attraction among children ( Cantor and Kubose, 1969 ), early social encounters seem chiefly to provide a footing for interaction via the sharing of information and behavioral coordination. Beyond this, no well-defined picture of acquaintance processes emerges, and the features of acquaintance interaction that favor the continuance of an association are stranger .


School-age children have, on the median, five best friends—a number that is a bit higher than the total of friends acknowledged by preschool children and adolescents ( Hallinan, 1980 ). In addition, relatively few ( 2 percentage ) have no friends when choosing in sociometric interviews, although a slightly larger number ( between 6 and 11 percentage ) are not chosen themselves. These frequencies do not change from age 6 to 12, although long time differences have never been studied adequately ( Epstein, in compress ). School-age children and their friends tend to be linked in twosomes rather than in the larger interlacing networks known as cliques or crowd. relatively few cliques are observed in most elementary school classrooms, in contrast to junior and senior high school ( Hallinan, 1976 ). considerable sake is now discernible among investigators in the social interaction of friends. Most of the late employment draws heavily from the theories of Harry Stack Sullivan ( 1953 ), who argued that friendships are hallmarks of the “ juvenile era, ” reflecting newfangled needs for interpersonal closeness and newfangled context for their expression. perennial themes in contemporary research are reciprocity, equity, comeliness, mutuality, and affair as these commemorate both children ‘s conceptions of their friends and their behavior with them. presumably, these themes become more and more authoritative in middle childhood, so that the indigence for developmental studies is particularly acute. cross-section studies confirm that friendship expectations among schoolchildren revolve around these issues. Development does not involve a change from the absence of reciprocity expectations among younger children to their bearing. reciprocity norms are apparent among kindergartners ( Berndt, 1977 ). Interviews ( Youniss, 1980 ) and written essays ( Bigelow, 1977 ) confirm that “ reward-cost ” reciprocities figure prominently in children ‘s expectations of their friends at all ages. Bigelow ‘s work suggests a progress from expectations among second and third graders that are based on common activities to sharing of rewards and other equities to reciprocal agreement, self-disclosure, and the partake of interests among fifth and sixth graders. Youniss ‘s studies suggest that young friends “ peer ” each other ‘s contributions to the interaction ; older friends attest equality and equal discussion in their relationships with one another ; and young adolescents stress interpersonal closeness. frankincense, the case can be made that the major changes in children ‘s friendship expectations occur in the way children use notions about reciprocities in social relationships preferably than in the emergence de novo of generalized notions about paleness and mutuality. person differences in these understandings are largely undiscovered except for the work of Selman ( 1980 ), and a connection between these social cognitive changes and behavior with friends has not been established. experimental studies confirm that friendships are based on reciprocity and mutuality, but age changes in the behavioral manifestations of these reciprocities have been unmanageable to document. ( presumably, this derives from the difficulty of measuring the elusive affectional and implemental components of closeness via direct observation. ) lab studies reveal that in cooperative settings friends are more interactional, affectional, heedful to fairness rules, mutually directive, and explore the materials more extensively than nonfriends ( Foot et al., , 1977 ; Newcomb and Brady, 1982 ; Newcomb et al., 1979 ). Changes in these differences with age are not dramatic in in-between childhood ( Newcomb et al., 1979 ). Berndt ( 1981b ) found that fourth-grade friends assisted their partners and were more volition to share rewards with each other than were beginning graders. These changes are not striking until early adolescence, however, and then they occur most normally when children have a choice between cooperation or competition in the undertaking. competitive settings change the interaction between friends. In these situations, males are more competitive and less generous with their friends than with nonfriends ( Berndt, 1981a ). contest besides occurs more normally between friends than between nonfriends when property rights are distinctly understand ( Staub and Noerenberg, 1981 ). frankincense, under sealed circumstances, friendship may furnish a footing for rival, even though in others it furnishes a basis for fairness considerations and generosity. Studies of adults indicate that stopping point relationships may maintain a basis for hostile, aggressive interaction ampere well as supportive, affectionate interaction. What evidence we have suggests that children besides manifest these complexities, even though these elements are not well silent. future investigations must concentrate not only on the software documentation of paleness norms in friendship interactions in in-between childhood but besides on a building complex range of attributions that make for classifiable interactions between children according to context. More and more, the contemporary testify stresses the importance of close relationships in childhood. much remains to be documented, however, about children and their friends. particularly needed are studies addressing four issues : ( 1 ) the worldly course of friendships, including the accommodations made by friends to stress that comes from both inside and outside the relationship ; ( 2 ) developmental vicissitudes, including the manner in which expectations and attributions among friends are connected to social interactions and the manner in which these relationships bicycle through time ; ( 3 ) individual differences among friendship pairs in the structure of these relationships, the use of reciprocality rules, the content of interactions, and their affectional qualities ; and ( 4 ) the socializing consequences of friendships, i.e., their character in increasing similarities between children, the developmental implications of having a best supporter, and the rate of friendships as protective factors in times of stress. The research agenda is formidable .


Groups exist when sociable interaction occurs over prison term among three or more children, values are shared, the members have a sense of belong, and a structure exists to support the activities of the corporate. empiric studies have concentrated on three issues : group constitution, norms, and structures .


Group formation has been understudied since the investigations 20 years ago by Sherif et aluminum. ( 1961 ). That exploit confirmed the ubiquity of social structures based on exponent relations, the individual attributes associated with social baron, and the emergence of group norms. Group formation has not been studied with children in the early school years, so developmental changes are undocumented. only two studies have ever been conducted that chart changes in group interaction as a function of the age of the group members ( A. Smith, 1960 ; H. Smith, 1973 ), and no longitudinal studies document the connections between norms and structures as they cycle through time. Processes in group formation among girls have been described less well than those among boys. Little is known about group formation among children from minority subcultures. And we know short about the affect of the macrostructure ( for example, schools ) on the emergence of children ‘s groups. Again, the inquiry agenda is formidable .


Standards of conduct, called norms, govern the actions of group members. Certain norms governing children ‘s interactions with one another exhale from the core culture and presumably derive from earlier socialization—e.g., sex-role stereotypes angstrom well as attitudes about authority, equity, and reciprocity. other norms emanate from group interaction, and these are the norms that adults associate with the peer culture. The being of these normative frameworks is not in doubt, but the processes through which they emerge are. Knowing more about these processes is essential, however, since these norms may be salient in the growth of health behaviors, antisocial activities, and discord in parent-child relationships in middle childhood and adolescence. On the footing of observations of fiddling league baseball teams, Fine ( 1980 ) asserted that five conditions must exist for norms to become established : ( 1 ) person must ”know, ” i, possess a sting of social information and introduce it ; ( 2 ) members must find the information useable ; ( 3 ) fresh norms must satisfy some common need ; ( 4 ) norms must support group structure and frailty versa ; and ( 5 ) circumstances must exist that trigger the prescriptive natural process. This model seems valuable for examining the introduction, maintenance, and cessation of normative activities among children of diverse ages ; these notions have not however, however, been used extensively in empirical investigations. One ‘s own appearance, drinking, drug function, or popularity may determine the choice of one ‘s associates ( Dembo et al., 1979 ; Ladd, 1983 ). longitudinal studies suggest that, in addition, one ‘s behavior influences the behavior of those individuals selected as associates ( Britt and Campbell, 1977 ; Kandel, 1978 ). Similarities among group members thus derive from both prescriptive excerpt and prescriptive socialization. once again, the connections between these processes in middle childhood are not well understood, despite their obvious significance. specially understudy are normative constellations as they vary from one enclave to another. drug users, for case, tend to congregate with one another, although the weight of the tell suggests that children do not form subcultures that are distinct from others except in drug use ( Huba et al., 1979 ). normally, though, it is assumed that smoking and drug use are particularly common in groups of alienated or incompetent children. Which is right ? What “ mixtures ” of core-culture and counterculture norms predict antisocial behavior most successfully ? therefore few intergroup comparisons have been made that it is impossible to answer these questions .


Group members differentiate among themselves in terms of social power, i.e., their potency at direct, coordinate, and sanctioning the activities of early members. These differentiations are the basis for the social structures that are visible in every group. Group structures emerge in social interactions in early childhood, and these are relatively well studied. relatively few investigations, however, have documented the universe of hierarchical sociable organizations in middle childhood ( Sherif et al., 1961 ; Strayer and Strayer, 1976 ). In some instances these structures seem to be based on laterality interactions, although social structures may besides be based on being good at games, knowing how to organize activities, and social competence. In cosmopolitan, individual differences in attributes that facilitate the group ‘s objectives are the footing for the social order ; structures based on authority interactions do not constantly vary concordantly. Leaders are not inevitably hard or entail, nor are they necessarily the most popular children. Leaders are the ones who know what to do. Our notions about group structures have been derived chiefly from observations of children in classrooms and summer camps. classroom observations are notably constrained in providing us with a absolved picture of those structures that exist in informal groups. The social structure of the classroom is dominated by an pornographic ( the teacher ), and normative action revolves around academics. Camp settings are not as heavily constrained but have their own limitations. One of the most severe gaps in our cognition of the sociable psychology of center childhood is information about the structure and officiate of informal groups. Omitted from most studies is a consideration of the connections between norms and the social organization. Sherif et aluminum. ( 1961 ) documented the inner relationship between structure and function in social groups, but current investigations have been dominated by the impression that social structures exist chiefly to reduce the measure of aggression among group members ( Savin-Williams, 1979 ; Strayer and Strayer, 1976 ). divide considerations of normarive functions and social organization have not been knowing, however, since this strategy has reduced the interest of investigators in group-to-group variations. These variations need to be good understand, not entirely to document the diverseness of the sociable environment but besides to better understand the conditions under which children are attracted to membership in certain groups .

Situational Components

Setting Conditions

The conditions of settings constrain child-child interactions ( Barker and Wright, 1951 ). however, we have no clear estimate about where children spend fourth dimension when they are on their own, let alone what social know is like in these places. Enough has been accomplished to demonstrate that child-child interactions vary according to conditions of the set, but no “ ecology of the peer context ” emerges from this material. Playthings constrain the measure and maturity of child-child interactions, as examination of the protocols from One Boy’s Day ( Barker and Wright, 1951 ) shows. other than the documentation that physical activities promote “ robust ” interactions and that intangible activities are particularly associated with helping behaviors ( Gump et al., 1957 ), short is known about playthings and play situations as constraints on sociable interactions in in-between childhood. The handiness of resources and the space with which to use them bear on social interactions. Crowding effects have been studied chiefly with younger children, and methodological flaws mar many of the studies with school-age children. Space variations apparently do not affect either plus social interaction or aggression in a linear manner. only when outer space per child is hard circumscribed is positive interaction reduced and negative interaction increased. With severe crowd, children experience emotional arousal and increased competitiveness ( Aiello et al., 1979 ). But there is besides evidence that access to resources may be more crucial in determining the nature of child-child interactions than the come of space available ( Smith and Connolly, 1977 ). The act of children congregated together is besides salient even though, in the primary grades, children tend to interact in dyads rather than in larger sets. Three-child ( and larger ) enclaves become more common during middle childhood on playgrounds and in parks ( Eifermann, 1971 ), but dyadic interaction, with its concentration of social attention, remains apparent. interaction is more acute and cohesive in smaller enclaves than in larger ones. Consensus in group discussions is easier to reach and leaders exert more extensive influence, even though the members of little enclaves have a feel of ego and coalitions are less common ( Hare, 1953 ). Given that children remain perpetrate to dyadic interactions throughout middle childhood, it is to be regretted that we do nor know whether the nature of these exchanges varies according to the size of the groups in which they are embedded .


Every social position contains some component of challenge, something to be done, something to activate or energize the actors. multiple challenges exist in most social situations, and these may form a hierarchy according to their relative importance. different challenges may be crucial at different times. In some instances the independent tasks are outwardly imposed and discernible to everyone ; in others the tasks are not well defined, and the participants must construct the tax as they go along. entirely recently has there been much interest in tasks and their character in child-child relationships. Illustrations can be selected, however, that prove ( a ) the effects of a undertaking on social interaction, ( b ) changes that happen with old age in the tasks children consider crucial, and ( c ) individual differences in the tactics children use in certain situations.

The strategic demands of a social site vary according to context. Children normally understand, for exercise, that when a child is being teased by a number of children the most allow way to assist the victim is through ordering and commanding the teasers ( Ladd and Oden, 1979 ). When encountering a lone child who has been teased, however, allow aid is understand to include consolation, direction, and suggestions of option actions. Children who do not endorse these strategic norms but alternatively second idiosyncratic social strategies turn out to be relatively low in the sociometric hierarchy. thus, a child ‘s endorsement of prescriptive strategies in certain tax situations seems to be cardinal in social effectiveness. When social situations are not well structured, children construct their own goals, and to some extent these change between ages 6 and 12. Renshaw and Asher ( 1983 ) showed third- and sixth-grade children four hypothetical social situations ( social contact with strange children, group entry, a friendship issue, and an exemplify of conflict ) and conducted interviews about the goals and strategies the children considered significant. Both the one-third and the sixth graders recognized “ friendly ” goals as most allow in each of these social situations, but, when asked to mention their own goals, the older children mentioned friendly ones more much and the younger children were more frequently concerned with defending their rights. Endorsed social strategies besides differed according to age. The older children, in contrast to the younger ones, more frequently were outgoing and accommodative, indicating more sophisticated adjustment to the social undertaking. One undertaking that has received considerable recent attention is group entrance. Results indicate that children vary in the extent to which they view entry american samoa important ampere well as in the tactics they use to enter a group ( Dodge et al., 1983 ; Putallaz and Gottman, 1981 ). As it turns out, successful submission normally involves sequences of tactics that progress from the use of low-risk ones ( for example, waiting and hovering on the edges of a group ) to bad ones ( for example, statements and requests ). furthermore, the child must then use bad tactics that maintain the group ‘s frame of reference ( for example, calling attention to what the group is doing ) preferably than disrupting it ( for example, calling attention to oneself ). The effectiveness of these strategies has been demonstrated among children interacting with familiar associates angstrom well as unfamiliar ones and in naturalistic equally well as lab settings. Some tell suggests that the bad tactics that employment are more systematically used by children toward the end of middle childhood than at the begin ( Lubin and Forbes, 1981 ). furthermore, their use differentiates popular, neglected, and rejected children ( Dodge et al., 1983 ; Putallaz and Gottman, 1981 ). There is every reason to believe, then, that tasks interact with developmental and clinical status in determining the social strategies that children use with their associates. even a child ‘s sympathy of what the social tax is may index relevant individual differences in social operation. distinctly, extra work in this important new area should be encouraged .



Children ‘s associates vary wide in age, with a a lot as 65 percentage of social contacts occurring with others who are more than 12 months younger or older ( Barker and Wright, 1955 ). Mixed-age contacts among adolescents occur more normally in shopping malls and parks than in schoolyards ( Montemayor and Van Komen, 1980 ). similar data are not available, however, to show where mixed-age experiences are particularly common among school-age children. however, two conclusions emerge from late studies of mixed-age interactions compared with same-age interactions : mixed-age interactions are less classless than same-age interactions, and social accommodations are made in mixed-age circumstances that are not apparent under same-age conditions. Children are more nurturant and directing with younger children and more dependent with older children ( Graziano et al., 1976 ; Whiting and Whiting, 1975 ) ; alike function asymmetries are apparent between siblings who differ in age by 2-3 years ( Brody et al., 1982 ). Same-age interaction, in contrast, is marked by “ sociable ” and “ aggressive ” interactions ( i.e., adequate exchanges ) to a greater extent than mixed-age interactions ( Whiting and Whiting, 1975 ). These differences are concordant with differences in attributions made to same- and mixed-age associates. Power attributions are more normally made to older associates ( “ chic, ” “ best, ” ”bossy ” ) and their reciprocals to younger associates ( “ watery, ” “ dumb ” ). In these comparisons, attributions to same-age associates are more likely to resemble those made to younger associates than to older ones ( Graziano et al., 1980 ). Three omissions, however, mark our data basis. First, the differences between mix and same-age interactions that emerge in early on childhood and extend to the early school years have not been explored among older schoolchildren. The developmental course of the complementarities existing in mixed-age interactions is thus not well documented. Second, little is known about these complementarities as a function of the historic period differences of children. Most investigators have examined mixed-age interactions between children who differ by two years in chronological old age. annual differences seem to affect children ‘s efficacies as role models ( Thelen and Kirkland, 1976 ), but small else is known about these smaller differences. No research worker has examined the complementarities that may exist across greater differences in senesce. Third, little is known about the role of attributions in generating the differences between mixed- and same-age interaction in respective setting conditions. The existing data derive chiefly from experimental studies in cooperative atmospheres .


Children ‘s societies are segregated by sex. Within these male and female cultures, boys interact in outdoor public places more normally than girls do and come under the supervision of adults less frequently. Boys interact in larger groups than do girls, and mixed-age contacts are more frequent in male interactions. Play among boys is rougher and includes more frequent instances of fighting than play among girls ( Lever, 1976 ; Thorne, 1982 ). In addition, sociable manner of speaking seems to serve different functions in male and female societies. Girls consumption language more extensively than boys to create and maintain relationships, to criticize others in satisfactory ways, and to clarify the speech of others. Boys use words to assert social position, to attract and maintain an consultation, and to assert themselves when other speakers have the care of the audience ( Maltz and Barker, in urge ). Mixed- and same-sex interactions have rarely been compared. Sgan and Pickert ( 1980 ) examined assertive bids in a concerted job with triads of kindergarten, first-grade, and third-grade children. With age, boys made proportionately fewer cross-sex assertive bids in mixed-sex triads and girls made more ; concomitantly, same-sex assertions increased among girls but decreased among boys. These trends result in mixed-sex interactions becoming more egalitarian with age, but whether these trends are apparent in competitive or individualist tasks is not known. Coalition constitution differs according to gender typography, with same-sex coalitions formed more frequently in mixed-sex triads than cross-sex coalitions, particularly when children of the lapp arouse occupy positions of relatively gloomy social baron ( Leimbach and Hartup, 1981 ). Gender and office relationships therefore may interact in the egress of cross-sex sociable organizations. Developmental trends in these outcomes have not been charted. Despite the arouse cleavage in middle childhood, sex segregation is not complete. rather, this segregation seems to have a “ with-then-apart ” structure in which the sexes congregate individually but besides come together in many situations, particularly schoolyards and city streets. Using the techniques of participant observation in school hallways, cafeteria, and playgrounds, Thorne ( 1982 ) established, first base, that arouse segregation derives from both inclusion body and exclusion and, second, that cross-sex exclusions are based chiefly on arouse type and the “ riskiness ” of romantic interest. even so, “ borderwork ” ( i.e., ritualized “ invasions ” resulting in cross-sex interaction ) are common. Some of these, for exemplar, “ chase, ” and ”kiss and chase, ” have sexual overtones. Others involve stigmatization ( boy referring to the girls as body louse queens ). inactive others involve territorial invasions. But cross-sex interactions besides occur, in which the children merge well into interactions with the antonym arouse. coarse examples include the inclusion of girls in team sports, specially tomboy ( see Lever, 1976 ). As adolescence approaches, the forbidden against quixotic interest begins to break down, and occasionally boys and girls will consider themselves as going together. And when tasks and resources are absorbing and adults legitimate cross-sex interactions, more harmonious cross-sex contacts occur. These observations indicate that much can be learned from naturalistic investigations about the forces that support sex segregation in middle childhood and, more important, the forces that instigate and maintain cross-sex interactions in these years. The developmental implications of cross-sex interactions are particularly significant. indeed, it may be their highly ritualized nature that represents their significance in development .


racial awareness increases in middle childhood, although the contemporaneous evidence is not extensive concerning the foundations of the subspecies cleavage that marks children ‘s societies. Prowhite/antiblack biases are discernible among white children, but in many instances the choices of black children do not depart from casual ( Banks, 1976 ). “ eurocentric ” prowhite/antiblack choices decline among school-age black children ( Spencer, 1981 ), although there is considerable mutant in the being of problack biases. associative contacts are more likely to be of the lapp sex than of the like rush ( Asher et al., 1982 ), but assortments in cafeteria, playgrounds, and hallways are notably segregated by slipstream. School integration has changed these patterns slightly, although friendship interactions among adolescents are strongly constrained by race ( see above ). These segregations in child-child interactions are undoubtedly based on both inclusive and exclusive processes. The salience of racial similarities has rarely been explored as a footing for inclusion body ; in contrast, considerable think has been given to racial biases as sources of exclusion. The borderwork and other conditions that instigate mixed-race interactions are not well established except that accommodative activities in the service of superordinate goals seem to promote it ( Aronson, 1978 ). Microanalytic studies of mixed-race interactions compared with same-race interactions are about nonexistent. Among younger adolescents in mixed-race conditions, white children are more probably to initiate social interaction than are blacken children, and white children have stronger influence on group decisions. No testify establishes the precursors of these patterns in center childhood or the conditions that might modify them .


presumably many other “ actor attributes ” determine the nature of child-child interactions in in-between childhood. The reservoir of a drawing card ‘s agency and his or her personal attributes determine social potency among adolescents, but the emergence of these conditions in middle childhood is unstudied. The condition of disabled children in mainstreamed classrooms is generally not good, and experimental studies are now being addressed to the attributions and attitudes that may be responsible ( see Hartup, 1983 ). overall, though, we know relatively little about the implicit personality theories of schoolchildren and barely more about these matters in early adolescents. late work indicates the significance of these implicit theories in interactions among adults, however, therefore saturated work with children is urgently needed .

Peer Relationships And The Individual Child

Poor peer relationships in in-between childhood are characteristic of children who are at risk for emotional and behavioral disturbances in adolescence and adulthood. early childhood assessments are not impregnable predictors of social difficulties in middle childhood ( Richman et al., 1982 ), but person differences during the school years are correlated with subsequent adaptation. negative reputations and sociable rejection among elementary school children, for exemplar, are omen indicators of continuing rejection by schoolmates ( Coie and Dodge, 1983 ) adenine well as poor mental health and psychosexual difficulties in adolescence and young adulthood ( Cowen et al., 1973 ; Roff, 1963 ; Sundby and Kreyberg, 1968 ). prediction of schizoid breakdown from peer condition in middle childhood has not been demonstrated since social withdrawal and isolation are themselves not stable through this clock time ( Coie and Dodge, 1983 ). Beginning in early adolescence, however, irritability, aggression, and negativistic behavior in peer interactions are characteristic of premorbid individuals ( Watt and Lubensky, 1976 ). coherent as these results are, it is difficult to interpret them. Childhood indicators of later maladjustment include bodily disturbances, kin difficulties, and school bankruptcy angstrom well as difficulties with contemporaries. Peer problems, then, may just reflect general difficulties in development and not be direct determinants of emotional disturbance. Whatever the childhood antecedents of behavior disorders, difficulties with contemporaries may contribute, on their own, to negative self-attitudes, alienation, and reductions in social effectiveness. Poor peer relationships are among the most systematically reported “ problems ” in the referral of children to mental health clinics ( Achenbach and Edelbrook, 1981 ). consequently, the connections between family and peer relationships across time, as these involve self- and other attributions, sociable isolation, and social competence, need to be examined ( following the model of one investigation, in which social isolation among 5-year-olds was found to be predictive of social cognitive difficulties a class late and which at that sharpen were linked to peer rejection and withdrawal—Rubin et al., in press ). New documentation connecting peer allowance in middle childhood to late negative outcomes is not needed. rather, the studies needed should be multidimensional examinations over clock of social development and life events culminating in undesirable outcomes. alike comments can be made about peer relationships and crime. In middle childhood, “ delinquents to be ” have difficulties getting along with others and in treating others politely, tactfully, and reasonably. These children are besides less well liked by their contemporaries ( Conger and Miller, 1966 ; West and Farrington, 1973 ). Concordantly, self-evaluations in early adolescence bespeak that delinquents to be do not enjoy airless personal relationships with others, are less concerned in unionize activities, and are immature. Middle childhood, then, may be a time in which precursors of criminal demeanor are established, including negative self-attitudes and alienation. Delinquency is not a well-differentiated construct, however. These notions deserve examination in carefully designed longitudinal studies. Studies centered on the processes of peer socialization have been conducted chiefly with preschool children. The tell indicates that modeling and reinforcing events are used in this context with increasing slowness in middle childhood ( Hartup, 1983 ). What children learn and how much they learn through these contingencies are difficult to specify and may remain so, although it is gain that peer interactions involve prosocial adenine well as aggressive experiences. Since more aggression occurs in child-child interactions than in other context, and since endorsement of antisocial norms countenanced by other children increases in in-between childhood ( Berndt, 1979 ), powdered analyses should be extended to naturalistic situations. These studies are needed to specify the conditions associated with the emergence of individual differences in assertiveness and aggression. Children do not become uniformly more “ conforming ” in middle childhood ( see Hartup, 1983 ), but other conditions encouraging the development of antisocial behavior within the peer context may exist in these years—for exercise, the combination of a negative reputation among one ‘s peers and one ‘s own inclination to attribute hostile intentions to others ( Dodge and Frame, 1982 ). intimate socialization in middle childhood is understudy, chiefly became of the difficulty of conducting relevant studies. early childhood studies make it clear that child-child interactions extend the sex type of the individual ; playground observations of schoolchildren support this dissertation ( see above ). But sexual cognition and experiment besides derive from contacts with other children ( Kinsey et al., 1948 ). The scarcity of information on this subject, however, is disturbing—consider, for exemplar, the want to determine the circumstances contributing to intimate socialization as antecedents of adolescent pregnancy. respective investigators ( see Thorne, 1982 ) have commented on the sexual fictional character of children ‘s act, specially in the robust, physical interactions of boys. sexual concomitants in child-child interactions are park and explicit in conversations on the resort area. It is difficult to discount the normative meaning of these events or to ignore their possible contributions to sexual socialization. close examination of sex in child-child interactions could illuminate many critical issues. Same-sex contacts in middle childhood, for example, may contribute both sexual cognition and prescriptive “ stylistic ” elements to the child ‘s repertory, for example, braggadocio among boys. Opposite-sex encounters may constitute sexually neutralize introductions to the complementarities needed in heterosexual communication. moral relativism was believed by Piaget ( 1932 ) to arise within child-child interactions in middle childhood. recent studies demonstrate that children ‘s conversations modify their moral judgments ( Berndt et al., 1980 ), but it has been unmanageable to connect peer interaction in the natural context with the maturity of the child ‘s moral orientation course. Preadolescents who belong to clubs and social organizations receive higher scores on moral judgment than do those who belong to relatively few organizations ( Keasey, 1971 ), but the correlational nature of this testify reduces its significance. Children ‘s conversations about moral issues need closer examination, and subject analyses centered on moral interaction in natural settings should be encouraged. Whether the child ‘s moral orientation is tied specially close to peer interactions may not be the most relevant topic. More significant, we need to better understand those processes in child-child interactions that have moral implications. Along with knowing what children do when they are on their own, this information could contribute greatly to knowledge about the character of child-child relationships in moral socialization .

Family And Peer Relationships

Familial Correlates Of Peer Competence

In early childhood, impregnable attachments between a child and his or her caretakers promote exploration of the environment, including the other children who inhabit it. Mothers arrange contacts between their new children and other youngsters, believing this to be desirable. In addition, social interactions within the class promote individuality and the growth of self-esteem—conditions that maximize the chances of success once peer interaction begins. reproducible with these notions are empiric studies showing impregnable attachments in the first 2 years to be antecedents of sociability, empathy, and potency in child-child relationships at ages 3 and 4 ( Waters et al., 1979 ). The connections between family and peer relationships extending into center childhood are not well documented. One would expect parent-child relationships marked by aroused support and allow demands for conformity to continue to be associated with convinced outcomes in child-child relationships. And, indeed, cross-sectional studies reveal that mothers and fathers of well-liked children are emotionally supportive, infrequently frustrating and punitive, and deter of antisocial behavior in their children ( Winder and Rau, 1962 ). early investigators ( Hoffman, 1961 ) have observed the antecedents of assurance, assertiveness, and effectiveness with other children to include ( a ) among boys, affection from both mothers and fathers accompanied by authority from fathers but not mothers, and ( bacillus ) among girls, affection from both parents accompanied by laterality from mothers but not fathers. In addition, sociometric condition is known to be positively correlated with parental affection and the absence of family tension ( Cox, 1966 ) a well as with parents ‘ satisfaction with their children ( Elkins, 1958 ). No tell suggests that the child-rearing correlates of social competence in middle childhood disagree in any meaty direction from their correlates in early childhood, even though specific exchanges between parents and their children that can be called supportive or dominant allele undoubtedly change. Assuming that family and peer relationships are interactional in individual development, one would expect affray in one context ( e.g., the family ) to disturb the child in the other ( for example, child-child relationships ). For example, unemployment, concluding illness within the family, and family conflict would be expected to affect the child ‘s function with other children. confused evidence is reproducible with this notion. Girls ages 10-13 whose fathers were unemployed for a solid time during the depression reported more song in their relationships with age-mates, less assurance, and more concern about having friends than did girls from less deprive families ( Elder, 1974 ). Time spend with peers and popularity, however, did not differ between girls in these two types of families. Perturbations traced to the father ‘s unemployment were not apparent among boys. The data suggest that the earlier ripen of the girls and their greater concern with dress and attractiveness may underlie these findings. In summation, boys may have been buffered from the shock of their don ‘s unemployment by their own increased sour activities. Divorce and its impact on socialization in the peer context have not been examined extensively with children ages 6-12. Studies of younger children ( for example, Hetherington, 1979 ) indicate that age-mate relationships suffer initially with the happening of disassociate and that “ recovery ” coincides with stabilization of interpersonal relationships within the syndicate. Young boys are more at risk for peer difficulties in the aftermath of disassociate than young girls are—the latter apparently receiving more patronize aroused support from their teachers and mothers. One matter to notion is that in middle childhood friends and early associates assist in the amelioration of the anxiety associated with disassociate, in the resolution of loyalty conflicts, and in coping with the economic and virtual exigencies deriving from the divorce. One investigation suggests these dynamics among boys but not girls ( Wallerstein and Kelly, 1981 ). In this example, school-age boys were able to turn to friends, apparently to put distance between themselves and the disturb family. Girls, however, entered into friendships merely when their relationships with their mothers were supportive. differently, girls felt it necessity to abstain from interacting extensively with other children and were constrained from entering friendships. This arouse dispute was not apparent among preschool children nor among adolescents in this probe. thus, the peer concomitants of divorce in middle childhood indigence far examination. The extent to which children use their friends alternatively of or in addition to their families for emotional and social confirm in in-between childhood is an interesting interrogate, particularly since those adaptations may be sex linked .

Parents Versus Peers: The Issue Of Cross-Pressures

The conventional wisdom stresses that the carryover from peer relationships to kin relationships in middle childhood is chiefly in the shape of increase confrontation between children and their parents. According to this argument, exposure to age-mates erodes the child ‘s orientation to the kin and establishes foreign-born opposition. The tell, however, does not suggest that these oppositions are specially intense before puberty ; the opposition revolves chiefly around antisocial norms. From one probe ( Berndt, 1979 ) with children in grades 3, 6, 9, and 11, the most come to results were ( a ) small decreases in accord on prosocial issues with both parents and friends, ( bel ) a gradual decay in accord with parents in achromatic situations but little change in accord to peers, and ( carbon ) an increase in peer conformity to antisocial norms between grades 3 and 9 but not beyond. Children therefore continue to use their parents adenine well as their friends as anchors for prosocial bodily process, disengaging from their rear ‘s chiefly as prescriptive anchors in antisocial activeness. other investigators have observed that peer-endorsed standards of mismanage become increasingly outstanding from mark 3 to 6 and from class 6 to 8 but not beyond ( Bixenstine et al., 1976 ). The major senesce changes occurring in response to cross-pressures thus involve antisocial norms ; normarive opposition increases as puberty approaches. Changes in the cosmopolitan attitudes of children toward parents and peers are similar : ( a ) attitudes toward both parents and peers are more favorable than unfavorable at all ages, ( b-complex vitamin ) the count of children reporting positive attitudes toward parents declines slightly during center childhood and an increase occurs again in center adolescence, and ( hundred ) there is no general increase in the favorability of attitudes toward peers ( Harris and Tseng, 1957 ). other than a rebuff dip in the popularity of parents in preadolescence, there is frankincense no indication that parents are increasingly rejected nor peers increasingly accepted during center childhood, although person differences may be wide. By early adolescence, most individuals are able to synthesize their understandings and expectations of their parents and their peers. Taken together, the literature connecting family and peer relationships is narrowly focused. We know the dimensions in child-rearing that bode sociometric condition in middle childhood but little about changes in the family as these may bring about changes in child-child relationships. We know that foreign-born concordance and discord change with senesce, but we know little about the conditions that bring about these changes. We know little about the strategies that parents use for knowing where their children are, arranging contacts with other children, and coaching them in social skills. What attention is given by parents to children ‘s thinking about their companions ? Do parents contribute to the child ‘s increasingly differentiated and “ psychological ” perceptions of their associates ? Are there similarities between the theories of personality and attributional conventions used by parents with their children and those used by children with their associates ? In what ways does affair within syndicate relationships carry forward into the close relationships emerging between children and their friends ? These issues can not be addressed without coincident studies in both the syndicate and the peer context .

The Peer Context And The School

Classrooms are social units of major meaning in western cultures. Teachers establish the climate in these contexts, setting the conditions for social interactions and relationships. Child-child relationships, however, may constitute the “ sociable frontier ” in the classroom ( Minuchin and Shapiro, 1983 ). In addition, child-child relationships within the classroom and the educate are learning context ; children teach things to one another, and these interactions contribute to children ‘s growing understand of the conditions under which people work and achieve .

Classroom Conditions And Peer Interactions

numerous classroom conditions influence child-child interactions. The number of students, the physical arrangements, open versus traditional classroom structures, course of study content, and teaching style are known to be correlated with variations in children ‘s interactions with one another. Studies of these jell conditions are not easy to design, however, owing to the common confuse of these conditions with one another. For exercise, friendships and cliques are more numerous in large classes than in smaller ones ( Hallinan, 1976 ) and group activity is more frequent. And these effects depend on the extent to which teachers organize small classes differently from larger ones ( Smith and Glass, 1979 ). sociable interactions in open and traditional classrooms are not the lapp. Child-child contacts are more numerous in open classrooms, involving both work-oriented and sociable matters ( Minuchin, 1976 ), and cross-sex and cross-age contacts are more patronize. cooperative interactions are more coarse in open classrooms, since cooperative work opportunities are scheduled more frequently than in traditional settings. cooperation in out-of-class situations, however, is besides more park among children enrolled in open than in traditional classrooms. The evocation of generalize cooperative expectations may therefore be one consequence of experience in these situations. however, the extent to which children create a concerted ethic on their own in open classrooms is not known. open classrooms provide a footing for friendship excerpt that differs from conditions in traditional classrooms. Hallinan ( 1976 ) found relatively inflexible sociometric hierarchies in traditional classrooms along with clear-cut consensus concerning the identities of popular and isolate children. More diffuse social organizations were observed in open classrooms, with unanswered choices occurring less normally and persisting over a shorter time than in traditional settings. other investigators ( Epstein, 1983 ) report that more students are selected and fewer are neglected as best friends in open than in traditional situations, with sociometric choices that are more normally reciprocal. exposed settings therefore seem to encourage the continuing reorganization of close relationships to a greater extent than traditional settings do .

Curriculum Content

curricular interventions centered on socialization consist of four main types : moral education, affectional education, concerted determine, and social skills training. moral department of education has been studied in numerous variations ranging from the use of lessons that emphasize allow moral attitudes and behavior to the initiation of ”moral schools. ” sometimes moral education consists of discussions about moral principles among the children themselves ; other times it consists of the incorporation of moral issues into the course of study in social studies or literature courses. Lockwood ( 1978 ) considered many of these studies to be ailing executed, although well-designed investigations demonstrate that ( a ) the direct discussion of moral dilemma results in small advances in the maturity of moral intelligent among children ; ( b ) these advances are more common among younger children than older ones, although individual differences are considerable ; and ( deoxycytidine monophosphate ) questions remain about the perseverance of these advances and their manifestations in behavior. There has been little taxonomic evaluation of “ moral schools ” and virtually no attempt to document the effects of moral education on child-child interactions. many unsolved issues remain in evaluating moral education, including the effects of these interventions on children ‘s interactions with one another. furthermore, these issues have been recognized for some time. It is however curious why we know so small about the effects of moral education on children ‘s relationships with one another. Model programs of affectional education have been used with elementary school children, including the Human Development Program ( Bessell and Palomares, 1970 ), the affectional education Program ( Newberg, 1980 ), and-the Empathy Training Project ( Feshbach, 1979 ). These and other models emphasize group dynamics, social values, and personal adjustment. affectional department of education has spread widely through U.S. schools, although authoritative evaluation of the affect of these programs on child-child relationships is barely. Again, Lockwood ( 1978 ) evaluated the tell as showing positive effects on classroom behavior but inconsistent effects on self-esteem, self-concept, personal adjustment, and sociable values. The Empathy Training Project demonstrated decreases in rated aggression among children in the program and cognitive gains among those children showing the greatest gains in prosocial behavior and the greatest decreases in aggression. far influence with this program is needed, since its effects in nonexperimental settings have not been documented. accommodative learn environments promote friendly conversation, sharing, and helping among children, with the invert being the case in competitive settings ( Stendler et al., 1951 ). Peer tutoring occur more frequently under accommodative than competitive conditions ( DeVries and Edwards, 1972 ), and altruism occurs more frequently following cooperative than competitive experience ( Johnson et al., 1976 ). In summation, attitudes toward oneself and one ‘s coworkers are more positive as a consequence of cooperative rather than competitive experience. cooperative classrooms are besides more cohesive social units than competitive ones. Cohesiveness in racially integrated classrooms is apparent when accommodative experiences prevail, although it is necessity for the contributions of minority children to be recognized as essential to classify success in cooperative tasks in ordering for this to occur ( Aronson, 1978 ). Social skills trail has been used with schoolchildren chiefly in an campaign to improve the status of isolate and recall children. numerous interventions have been tried, most based on the hypothesis that such children have difficulties in peer relationships because of their inadequate sociable skills, for example, communication skills. Some of these interventions have been based on model ; others have involved “ unprogrammed ” opportunities for seclude children to interact with better skilled companions. Coaching, which is an intervention that combines direct teaching, opportunities for rehearsal, and corrective feedback, has been used extensively. The efficacy of model and unprogrammed socialization strategies has been demonstrated most thoroughly with preschool children. One probe revealed that modeling techniques are effective in improving the social condition of third- and fourth-grade children ( Gresham and Nagle, 1980 ). Coaching studies have been variable star in their outcomes ( Combs and Slaby, 1977 ; Conger and Keane, 1981 ), but these techniques do seem to be effective in improving the sociometric condition of isolate children and in some cases increase the frequency of the child ‘s sociable contacts. long-run sustenance of these outcomes has been assessed ( Oden and Asher, 1977 ), although effects outside the school are nameless and effects on measures other than sociometric tests and classroom observations are not well documented. More serious, however, is the scarcity of developmental studies in this area. We know that train in social skills can be effective, but the extent to which outcomes are generalized outside the classroom and the extent to which developmental modifications need to be made in the interventions themselves remain to be evaluated .

Children As Teachers

Believed to benefit both coach and tutee, peer tutor has been viewed as a cost-efficient instructional append in classrooms and as a basic element of socialization in sealed cultures—e.g., the USSR. empirical studies have by and large concerned the outcomes of the tutoring experiences—either for the child doing the education or for the child being taught. Benefits to the coach are believed to include increases in motivation and task affair that lead to gains in school accomplishment. enhancement of self-esteem, prosocial behavior, and attitudes toward educate are besides cited as tutor benefits. The evidence is not entirely reproducible in sexual intercourse to these outcomes, and there is no obvious reason for the inconsistencies ( Hartup, 1983 ). tutee benefits are more clear-cut. The discipline of tutors must be carefully accomplished to maximize tutee outcomes, and sustenance regimes must be closely monitor ( see Allen, 1976 ). Nevertheless, children distinctly can teach one another a diverseness of subjects. identical little feat has been made to determine the techniques that children use to teach one another. We know that children prefer to teach younger children and, conversely, to be taught by older children. Same-sex tutors and nonevaluative instructional conditions are besides preferred ( Lohman, 1969 ). little is known about the strategies that children use in teaching one another or how strategies vary according to setting. The weight of the tell suggests that peer teaching resembles pornographic pedagogics. Cooper et aluminum. ( 1982 ) observed that issuing directives, describing the undertaking, and making appraising comments were the techniques most normally used in classrooms ; demonstration, label, pointing, questioning, praise, and criticism were park, besides. Kindergarten children were more directing and intrusive than were second graders ( specially when the children were asked to assumed a coach role ), but, since these observations were conducted in same-age situations, it is not clear whether the old age differences were a routine of the developmental condition of the tutors, the tutees, or a combination of the two. As it turns out, school-age children make a variety show of instructional accommodations to the old age of their tutees. Children instructing younger children use repetitions, strategic advice, progress checkups, mastermind aid, and praise more frequently than children who instruct same-age tutees ( Ludeke and Hartup, 1983 ). Children seem to possess ”implicit theories ” of teaching that assume younger children to require more cognitive structure and more supportive and corrective feedback than same-age children. These theories have been studied lone in relation back to the actions of older children with younger associates, not frailty versa ; nothing is known about “ up ” accommodations. Again, information is not available concerning these accommodations in relative to the magnitude of the age remainder between children. Tutoring strategies are more complicate when the difference between tutor and tutee is 4 years preferably than 2 years, but nothing else is known .

Peer And Teacher Norms

Some investigators ( Coleman, 1961 ) have regarded cross-pressures between peer and teacher norms as major sources of tension and dysfunction in schools. Certain evidence is consistent with this notion. Peer standards of mismanage are more readily endorsed by children when these endorsements will be mysterious than when they will be revealed to parents and teachers ( Devereux, 1970 ). It is besides clear up that friends are sources of significant variance in the use of leisure time and decisions about whether to smoke or use drugs. But the issue is more complex. Surveys and questionnaires do not reveal that either middle childhood or adolescence is a stormy menstruation of prescriptive noise. The impression that adult-child relationships are understood by children to require self-control while peer relationships are based on intemperance and unbridled instinctual activity is not substantiated ( Emmerich et al., 1971 ). A little number of studies tell us about the silent rules that children use to govern their demeanor in the classroom and their notions about the manner in which classroom bring. These studies are largely prescriptive and not addressed to the manner in which children acquire these rules. Nucci and Turiel ( 1978 ) observed sociable transgressions in greenhouse schools, interviewing the children about these incidents. Their distinctions between conventional transgressions ( for example, playing in the incorrectly place ) and moral transgressions ( for example, taking something that belongs to person else ) agreed most of the clock with the distinctions made by adults. Second, one-fifth, and one-seventh graders besides make these distinctions ( Nucci and Nucci, 1979 ), reacting to conventional transgressions with comments about the rules and to moral transgressions with arguments about the intrinsic implications of these events. furthermore, school rules are seen by children according to these same distinctions ; for model, rules about harming others are distinguished from conventions about dress. Most children believed that rules about doing damage are necessary. Teachers do not constantly react systematically to conventional and moral transgressions ; conventional transgressions are sometimes treated as moral issues and vice versa ( Nucci, 1979 ). The extent of these incongruities and their effects on children ( particularly their effects on the teacher ‘s credibility ) are nameless. And, more broadly, we know little about the effects of different patterns of school authority and organization on children ‘s understand of social rules and the internalization of duty norms. Missing, excessively, is information about the child ‘s distinctions between parent-endorsed norms and teacher-endorsed norms. Most of our attention has been given to the specialization occurring in middle childhood between adult-endorsed ( i.e., parents and teachers combined ) and peer-endorsed norms. Nevertheless, parents are not teachers. submission demands, demeanor expectations, and the contingencies involved in the expression of affection and digest differ in families and classrooms. consequently, a distinguish examination of children ‘s reactions to adult authorities needs to be undertaken in order to understand the connections between the family and the peer organization, on one handwriting, and between the peer system and the school, on the other. Investigations focused explicitly on concordance and discord between teacher-child and parent-child interactions are all-important .

Methodological Issues

socialization in the peer context confronts the detective with numerous difficulties in data accumulate. Neither as exposed to surveillance as preschool children nor angstrom pronounce as adolescents, school-age children are elusive prey. train observers are an stranger bearing in the peer context ; children bar them from access to activities with their companions, and observers respect the child ‘s rights to privacy. furthermore, the intrusion of observers into the peer context decidedly alters the events that occur there. however, one can argue that we have not been vitamin a creative as we might be in examining child-child relationships outside the school. First, more effective use can be made of those individuals whom we select as informants. Children themselves can be involved in many ways early than to complete Guess Who tests, sociometric nominations, checklists, and questionnaires. late studies ( Youniss, 1980 ) suggest that the child interview has been underused as a mean of gathering data on a diverseness of seasonably and theoretically relevant issues ; children between ages 6 and 12 can be joint about many issues. The nuances of sexual socialization may never be revealed in reaction to questioning by adult examiners, but the structure of the child ‘s theories of interpersonal relationships might be. Children can be used as observers of their own actions and the actions of their companions. One can not expect children to carry clipboards and stopwatches to their hideouts or their playgrounds, but child observations can be accumulated in early ways. For exemplar, the telephone can be used to obtain information about late events, the circumstances under which the events occurred, their content, and their outcomes. One would expect these observations not to be as “ clean ” as those of prepare observers, but no matchless knows the claim strengths and weaknesses of this scheme. Telemetric techniques can be used, too—both to gather time-use information and to gather information about the attributions and affects experienced in social interactions. To be surely, these technologies do not solve the issues of access and privacy that were mentioned, but their function would extend the range of settings in which we work, thereby justifying an increased effort to use them. Parents are underused observers of child-child relationships. Restricted to the events that they can observe and to what their children tell them, parents however accumulate a considerable fund of information about the activities of their children and their companions. Diary records, an ancient and underused proficiency, are once again being utilized in studies of sociable development ( see Radke-Yarrow et al., 1983 ). Electronic modes of data collection can supplement the written record in these efforts. besides, interviews should not be written off as data-gathering devices. What about the scientist as perceiver or experimenter ? Participant notice may be feasible in studying informal groups of adolescents, particularly if the observer is sufficiently youthful ( see Sherif and Sherif, 1964 ). No 20-year-old graduate student, however, can pass as a 10-year-old. lone more creative ( and ethical ) uses of “ lurking ” can be encouraged. New work suggests that we have not exhausted the possibilities ( see, for example, Thorne ‘s 1982 ethnographic observations centered on cross-sex borderwork occurring in playgrounds, hallways, and school cafeteria ). Shopping malls and other sites have been used for observations of adolescents. Why not use similar experimental settings to capture certain aspects of peer interaction among school-age children ? These strategies are labor-intensive, but there is little choice. “ Quick-test ” classroom assessments must give direction to more complex and time-consuming assessments of child-child interactions outside the classroom. A perennial theme throughout this chapter is the need for developmental studies, either through cross-sectional or longitudinal analysis. unfortunately, more is involved in this feat than the judgment of children at different ages or tracking the necessary cohorts over time. The construction of age-appropriate measures is a continuing need and a complicate occupation. sufficient attention is about never given to psychometric issues and the appropriateness of research designs for conducting developmental work in this area ( see Fischer and Bullock, in this bulk ). Investigators can not avoid these issues, however, any more than they can avoid the early complexities implicit in in developmental inquiry.


Middle childhood is a time of consolidation and extension of peer relationships rather than a time of beginnings. Children make their initial contacts with other children in early childhood ; department of commerce with them, however, increases dramatically between ages 6 and 12. Younger children understand sealed things about the intentions and motives of other children, but these are elaborated and used with increasing effectiveness in middle childhood. similarly, communication and the coordination necessary for engaging in cooperation and competition are established in the preschool years, but new integrations emerge among schoolchildren. Within the peer context, newfangled contentedness ( for example, sexual activity ) enters into child-child interactions, but these issues are integrated into prescriptive structures whose precursors trace second to early on childhood. Preschool children posse nascent notions about friendships and their implications, whereas the capacities for engaging in intimate interactions seem to emerge between 6 and 12. Younger children interact distinctively with adults as contrasted with age-mates, but more elaborate differentiations emerge in center childhood within the social networks of the family, the peer context, and the school. Parent-child interactions change to some extent as children increase their activities with other children. Certain normative oppositions arise between parents and their children ; issues connected with supervision and complaisance switch. But parents and children work out accommodations to these differences without changing the basic nature of their relationships and normally without separation from one another. Middle childhood is a distinctive time. The years between 6 and 12 present newly and clamant demands for working out accommodations with other children—i.e., individuals who are similar to the child in cognitive capacities, cognition, and social have. Children must construct arrangements for working and playing with similar individuals governed by rules that differ, in many ways, from the rules that govern their exchanges with unalike individuals. Children must construct interactions with others on an equal basis and sustain them across situations and across time. No composition, issue, or arrival to be turned may therefore be apparent in child-child relationships during middle childhood, but children must construct a wide-eyed and more varied range of accommodations that “ cultivate ” with age-mates. In abruptly, coming to terms with the peer context is itself a major challenge in the years between 6 and 12 .

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