• Vertical and horizontal relationships. Peers are older and assume parenting roles but same
as age are in same cohort so can understand you.
• Orderly developmental sequences are found in children's interaction with peers
Category systems have been created to describe individual differences in the nature of
relationships children have
• Nature of early peer relationships could predict later psychological adjustment.
• Friendships fulfil a number of important functions which change according to age.
• Mutual influences exist between childrens family and peer relationships especially in
terms of how parental actions affect the nature and amount of contact with peers.
• Decline in amount of spending time with peers and a bigger decline with parents are then
spending time alone.
• Children's relationships with peers are determined by:
o Temperament (sociability)
o Past experience with age mates
o Familiarity of partner -determinant of whether children will play nicely
o Existence of friendships-developed schemas, know what the rules and
o Circumstances (tasks, toys, adults, function)
Most important: developmental stage
o Over time relationships become more frequent (get together, more opportunities,
sustained (last longer), complex, intimate and cohesive.
Stage: Infants- first year
• At 3 months- interest in other babies. Becomes a social being. Special when they see
babies like them.
• After 6 months- unreciprocated approaches (handing out toys, no eye contact, no return
of object). Starts with solitary play, transition into parallel play with better perception. This
play, child prefers other kids around but no interaction.Acknowledging other people
around but little interaction still comforting. Beginning of more cooperative, and mutual.
• Difficulty- linking behaviour to that of partner; social contacts are largely one-way
affairs. It is a script, way society operates, so child doesn’t understand what needs to be
Toddlers -Second year onwards
• Peer relationship- more frequent and complex. Developed object and person permanence.
More intentionality, symmetrical relationships.
Reciprocal play is more frequent.
• Incorporation of toys into activities (toy and partner at same social activity) ie. Peek a
• Some differentiation and adjustment to nature of companion.
Preschoolers ( 3-5) • Symbolic play and developmental of verbal skills. Talking in fuller sentences, can
express themselves. By being exposed to language in terms of context, accent. Children
need to learn and invent to be a part of the world.
• Communication of meaning, sharing of knowledge- one child says one thing and the
other's understanding is different. Become power oriented 'my dad know better', powerful
figure used as crutch to talk to one another. Will be exposed to different perspectives, may
not understand or accept but gradually learn to understand and hopefully understand that
not everyone thinks one way.
• Negotiation of rules- turn taking, big or small goals. Not always going to get it there way
outside of the home with an indulgent parent.Adult involved to supervise to make sure
things are done the right way, parents guide them toward a solution. Ie/young kids have a
cell phone. Kids always reliant on parents to solve problems. Doesn’t help kids to be
independent to solve their own problems.
• Group rather than dyadic play. Group is easier, just be there and don’t have to do much,
not necessary to establish a relationship. Hard time in dyadic is awkward to sustain a
conversation. Can play on their own within a group, disappear in a group and have
flexibility to do their own thing
• Large increase in social play. Group, solitary and parallel play. Solitary is lowest, group is
highest and parallel is in the middle.
Childhood (school years)
• New opportunities for interaction
• Continued development of previous patterns
• Proficient readers of others' emotions, motives and intentions.
• Egocentrism is left behind: school is so important so many strong advocates in public
school than in private which is a small segment of society.
• More choosy of partners, friendships are meaningful and sustained. Regardless of
activity, about spending time together.
• Groups- same sex and based on common interests. Changed a lot over the years,
subsequent cohorts. More acceptable to do girl things and vice versa.
• Peer Groups: major role in the lives of individual children.
• Relationships become even more critical.
Mixed-sex groups reappear
• Opposite sex couples appear: whole peer group changed. Boy and girl interaction and
same sex couples proposes challenges. Changes existing friendships that must survive and
sustain ie. Siblings in family system. Challenging time for teens can move on and do what
adults can do.
• Teens seek support from peers during period of transition and uncertainty- especially
support of self-worth.