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Lecture 9

PSY 302 - Lecture 9 Peers & Moral Development.docx

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Ryerson University
PSY 302
Lili Ma

1 PSY302, Section 011 (Dr. Ma) |Child Development | November 19| Lecture 9 SESSION 1: PEERS Development of friendships, Status in peer group Peers • Peers: people of approximately the same age, status, and social-ness • Equality, reciprocity, cooperation, intimacy in peer relationships, concern for others, reasoning • Peer relationships = unique context for child’s cognitive and social development DEVELOPMENT OF FRIENDSHIPS Friendship: Intimate, reciprocated positive relationships between people EARLY PEER INTERACTIONS • Children may have friends by or before age 2 o Especially those that attend daycare early on • 12 to 18months: seem to select and have preference for some children over others o Same age, gender, social status, those who appear popular • ~20 months+: increasingly initiate more interactions with some children than with others o Invite certain group to play with them over others o Language increasing and better social cognitive skills o Imitation, joint attention and pretend play Developmental Changes • Age 6-8: define friendship primarily on the basis of actual activities and view friends in terms of rewards and costs o Eg. Play soccer together or they share food/toys • Early school years - adolescence: experience and define friendships in terms of mutual liking (reciprocal), closeness (emotionally, mentally), and loyalty etc. • Adolescents: more likely to use friendship as a context for self-exploration and working out personal problems Concepts of Friendship: Video • 4 year old – They are my bff because I like her and she likes me • 6 years old – if they are kind, not mean, make up after a fight • 9 years old – does things with you helps you, expect trust and fairness • 16 year old – do anything for me, expect trust, be there for you, listen • Increasingly focus more on the psychological level THE ROLE OF FRIENDS • Friends provide security and social support o Often value friend’s advice more than parents/family o Can serve as buffer for unpleasant experiences (eg. Parents divorce  turn to friends) • Friends help build social problem solving skills (ie. Negotiations) 2 • Friendships help prepare for romantic relationships Choice of Friends For preschoolers: • Proximity is key – live in same neighbourhood • Similarity is also a major factor – same age, same sex preference (robust at 3 years old) that persists until adolescence, same race (to a lesser degree) By age 7: tend to like peers similar to themselves in terms of cognitive maturity of play and aggressive behavior • May refuse those who are immature or if they are aggressive • Prosocial + prosocial vs. aggressive + aggressive 4th - to 8th-grade: • Friends are more similar than non-friends in prosocial behaviors, antisocial behavior, peer acceptance, and academic motivation • Adolescence: friends tend to have similar interests, attitudes, and behavior STATUS IN PEER GROUP MEASUREMENT OF PEER STATUS • Peer evaluation (Rating scales) o How much do you like to play with _____? o Respond on a scale of 1 to 5 (not at all to a lot) • Peer nomination o Write down 3 kids they like to play with the most vs. 3 they don’t like to play with Sociometric Status • Sociometric status: degree which children are liked or disliked by their peers as a group • Assess two things o preference/acceptance o impact of the child – if nominated a lot (big impact) vs. not nominated Sociometric Categories Category Positive Negative nominations nominations Popular Many Few Rejected Few Many Neglected Few Few (unnoticed) Controversial Many Many Average (1/3) Average Average WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE… Popular • Skilled at initiating interactions and at maintaining positive relationships 3 o Actively approach people and maintain positive relationships • Cooperative, friendly, sociable, and sensitive to others • Are not prone to intense negative emotions and regulate themselves well • Less aggressive than average children • Popular in terms of sociometric measures ≠ perceived popularity o So actually nice people popular ≠ mean girls popular, high status in the group) Rejected: Aggressive-rejected (40-50%) • Prone to hostile and threatening behavior, physical aggression, disruptive behavior & delinquency • Aggression  rejection by peers o But may be popular if they develop social network of aggressive friends • Can be popular though, if develop a network of aggressive friends Rejected: Withdrawn-rejected (25%) • Socially withdrawn, wary, and often timid • Usually a combination of: withdrawn behavior + negative actions/emotions is correlated with rejection • Some children display social reticence: on looker behavior, do not participate in group activity o However, social reticence can change overtime, later in life o If strong social reticence = may be stabilized through life  depression Rejected Peer Status • Rejected children, particularly those who are aggressive: o More likely to display hostile attribution bias  Accidental/ambiguous  infer harmful intent  Eg. Bumped into you by accident think they purposely hurt you o Have more difficulty in finding constructive solutions to difficult social situations Neglected • Display relatively few behaviors that differ greatly from those of many other children • Do not have distinctive behaviours like popular kids (more average) • Appear to be neglected primarily because they are not noticed Controversial • Tend to have characteristics of both popular and rejected children • Some peers view such children as arrogant and snobbish Factors Affecting Child’s Sociometric Status • Peer status is affected by the child’s characteristics o Physical attractiveness (halo effect) o Experiences with siblings (role play practice at home) o Self esteem o Athletic ability o Social behavior o Personality o Cognition about self and others – self esteem/self evaluations 4 o Goals when interacting with peers – intention to make friends (less popular) Stability of Sociometric Status • Short-term (weeks or months) o popular or rejected tend to remain so o neglected or controversial tend to change • Over time o Rejected – stability generally higher than other children o Long term consequences for PEER STATUS AS A PREDICTOR OF RISK • Rejected children (especially aggressive), are more likely than peers to have academic difficulties later o Effect worsens overtime – poor academic performance o 25-30% of rejected kids drop out of school compared to 8% or less of other children not rejected • Rejected in elementary school (especially aggressive-rejected boys): at risk for externalizing symptoms (i.e., showing outwardly expressed behavior problems, delinquency, substance abuse, conduct disordrers) o Symptoms appear to increase between grades 6 and 10 • Peer rejection may also be associated with internalizing problems (i.e., internally expressed problems) o Eg. Rejected in 3 grade --. Risk for developing internalizing problems years later • Withdrawn boys: as adults, have less stable careers and marriages than their peers • Withdrawn girls: as adults, less likely than other women to have careers outside the home o More likely to be stay at home mom… • Rejected children who are victimized: at risk for loneliness and other internalizing behavior o Victimized children tend to be aggressive as well as withdrawn and anxious BOTTOM LINE
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