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Chapter Fifteen.docx

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Psychology 2040A/B
Jackie Sullivan

Chapter Fifteen: Peers, Media & Schooling Peer Relations - Peer sociability is supported by & contributes greatly to development & serve as vital sources of support in threatening situations Development of Peer Sociability Infant & Toddler Beginnings - Peer sociability begins in infancy with isolated social acts (grins, gestures), followed by coordinated exchanges in the second year o Coordinated actions (sharing positive emotions, mutual imitation, like jumping together) The Preschool Years - During preschool years, play moves from non-social activity (3-4 years) to parallel play & then to associative & cooperative play o Non-social – unoccupied, onlooker behaviour & solitary play o Parallel – a limited form of social participation, in which a child plays near other children with similar materials but does not try to influence their behaviour - At the highest level are 2 forms of true social interaction o Associative – children engage in separate activities but exchange toys & comment on one another’s behaviour o Cooperative – a more advanced type of interaction, children orient toward a common goal, such as acting out a make-believe theme - Sociodramatic play (an advanced form of cooperative play) becomes especially frequent, supporting cognitive, emotional & social development Developmental Sequence of Cognitive Play Categories (cognitive maturity) Play Category Description Examples Functional Play Simple, repetitive motor movements Running around a room, rolling a car with or without objects back & forth, kneading clay with no Especially common during the first 2 intent to make something years Constructive Play Creating or constructing something Making a house out of toy blocks, Especially common between 3-6 years drawing a picture, putting together a puzzle Make-Believe Play Acting out everyday & imagery roles Playing house, school or police officer, Especially common between 2-6 years acting out storybook or TV characters Games with Rules Understanding & following rules in play Playing board games, card, hopscotch, activities baseball Middle Childhood & Adolescence - In middle childhood, improved perspective taking permits peer interaction to become more prosocial & cooperative & to transition to rule-oriented games - Rough-and-tumble play (friendly chasing & play-fighting) – important in our evolutionary past for developing fighting skill establishing dominance hierarchies (a stable ordering of group members that predicts who will win when conflict arises) – also becomes common, especially among boys o This play declines when children get older, but if it continues, the meaning changes as it is linked to aggression - Boy-girl rough-and-tumble rises slightly in adolescence, perhaps through means of heterosexual interaction Influences on Peer Sociability - Parents influence children’s social competence both directly, by providing guidance & opportunities for peer contact & indirectly through their child-rearing practices Direct Parental Influences - Outside preschool, childcare & kindergarten, young children depend on parents to help them establish rewarding peer associations - Preschoolers whose parents arrange informal peer play activities tend to have larger peer networks & are more socially skilled - Parents also influence children’s peer interaction skills by offering guidance on how to act towards others Indirect Parental Influences - Many parenting behaviours not directly aimed at promoting peer sociability nevertheless influences it o Inductive discipline & authoritative parenting offer a firm foundation for competence in relating to agemates o Coercive behavioural control, including harsh physical punishment produce poor social skills & aggressive behaviour - Secure attachments to parents are linked to more responsive, harmonious peer interactions, larger peer networks & warmer friendships Age Mix of Children - Same-age peers engage in more intense & harmonious exchanges, but mixed-age interaction allows children to acquire new competencies from older companions - Piaget believed that experiences with children equal in status who challenge one another’s viewpoints, thereby promoting cognitive, social & moral development - Vygotsky thought that children profit from interacting with older, more capable peers, who model & encourage more advanced skills o Children clearly profit from both same-age & mixed-age relationships Cultural Values - In collectivist societies, large-group, imitative play is common o More time in unoccupied & parallel play & less time in make-believe play than Western cultures - Western-style sociodramatic play is particularly important for social development in societies where child & adult worlds are distinct Friendship - For preschool & young school-age children, friendship is a concrete relationship based on shared activities Thinking About Friendship - Children’s changing ideas about friendship follow a 3-stage sequence confirmed by both longitudinal & cross-cultural research: o Friendship as a Handy Playmate (about 4-7 years)  Preschoolers understand something about the uniqueness of friendship, they think friends are people you play with & spend a lot of time with  Friendships don’t yet have a long-term enduring quality (think a friendship is over if their friend doesn’t share or hits them) o Friendship as Mutual Trust & Assistance (about 8-10 years)  In middle childhood, friendship becomes more complex & psychologically based  Once a friendship forms trust, it is a defining feature o Friendship as Intimacy, Mutual Understanding & Loyalty (11-15 years & older)  The most importance is intimacy (psychological closeness), which is supported by mutual understanding of each other’s values, beliefs & feelings  Teens want their friends to be loyal – to stick up for them Characteristics of Friendships - Changes in children’s thinking about friendships are linked to characteristics of their real friendships o Friendship Selectivity & Stability  As mutual trust & loyalty increase in importance, school-age children’s friendships become more selective  Friendships are remarkably stable at all ages, but for younger children, stability is largely a function of constancy of social environments (school & neighbourhood)  At same time, stability increases with age as friendships become psychologically based (self- disclosure, support, prosocial behaviour) o Interaction Between Friends  Children give twice as much reinforcement (greetings, praise, etc.) to friends  Friends behave more prosocially with friends but also disagree & compete more as well o Resemblance Between Friends  Friends tend to be alike in age, sex, ethnicity & SES  And from middle childhood on, in personality, popularity, achievement & prosocial behaviour  Adolescent friends resemble one another in identity status, educational aspirations, political beliefs & deviance  But to explore new perspectives, they also befriend agemates with differing attitudes & values - With age, friendships become more selective, stable & prosocial, providing contexts which children learn to tolerate criticism & resolve disputes Sex Differences in Friendships - In middle childhood, children start to report a consistent sex difference in friendship o Emotional closeness is more common between girls - Girls form closer, more exclusive friendships than boys (more self-disclosure in their talks) - Boys usually gather for activities & discussions usually focus on recognition & mastery issues (such as achievement in sport) - Boys do form ties but the quality of their friendship is more variable o Androgynous boys more likely to form intimate same-sex ties than highly masculine ones - Coruminate is when someone repeatedly mulls over problems – happens more with girls - Girls tend to have shorter relationships because when they become close & an argument occurs, relational aggression emerges & boys fix problems by minimizing their importance but this makes the friendship less stable - Very popular & very unpopular early adolescents are more likely to have other-sex friends Friendship & Adjustment - Gratifying friendships foster self-concept, perspective taking & identity development o Also provide a foundations for intimate relationships o Offer support in dealing with everyday stresses o Promote good school adjustment - Aggressive friendships seriously undermine development - Warm childhood & adolescent friendships that are high in trust, intimate sharing & support contribute to many aspects of psychological health & competence into early adulthood for several reasons: o Close friendships provide opportunities to explore the self & develop a deep understanding of another o Close friendships provide a foundation for future intimate relationships o Close friendships help young people deal with the stresses of everyday life o Close friendships can improve attitudes toward & involvement in school Peer Acceptance - P.A refers to likability – the extent to which a child is viewed by a group of agemates, such as classmates, as a worthy social partner - Unlike friendship, peer acceptance is not a mutual relationship - More liked children tend to have more friends - To assess peer acceptance, researchers usually use self-reports that measure social preferences – “like very little or like very much” - Another approach measures social prominence – people’s judgments of the peers most of their classmates admire - Self report measures of peer acceptance yield 4 main categories: o Popular Children (who get many positive votes – are well-liked) o Rejected Children (who get many negative votes – are disliked) o Controversial Children (who receive many votes, both positive & negative – are both liked & disliked) o Neglected Children (who are seldom mentioned – either positively or negatively)  2/3 fit into one of these categories, the other 1/3 are average in P.A - P.A is a predictor of psychological adjustment - Rejected children often experience lasting adjustment problems (anxious, unhappy, disruptive, poor academics, etc.) Determinants of Peer Acceptance - Popular Children o Most are popular-prosocial children are academically & socially competent o Smaller amount are popular-antisocial children are aggressive but admired by peers for their sophisticated social skills – usually athletically skilled “tough” boys, but poor students who cause trouble & defy adult authority – and relationally aggressive boys & girls who enhance their own status by ignoring, excluding & spreading rumours about other chidren  As get older, people like these people less - Rejected Children o Largest subtype are rejected-aggressive children display severe conduct problems  High rates of conflict, physical & relational aggression, hyperactive, inattentive & compulsive behaviour o In contrast to rejected-withdrawn children, who are passive, socially awkward & at high risk for peer victimization – in which certain children become targets of verbal & physical attacks or other forms of abuse - Controversial & Neglected Children o Controversial children blend positive & negative behaviours  Are hostile & disruptive but also engage in positive, prosocial acts  Are usually assertive & dominant & have a lot of friends o Neglected children, though often choosing to play alone, are usually socially competent & well-adjusted  Although engage in low rates of interaction & are considered shy, most are just as socially skilled as average children (don’t report feeling unhappy with their social life) Helping Rejected Children - Interventions for rejected children include
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