Psy Beh 101D - Lecture 15 - Peers and the Sociocultural World.rtf

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University of California - Irvine
Psychology and Social Behavior
Kara Thorsen

Lecture 15: Peers and the Sociocultural World Life Span Developmental Psychology th March 14 , 2012 Peer Group Functions • Peers: individuals about the same age or maturity level • Peer groups provide source of information and comparison about world outside the family • Peer influences and evaluations can be negative or positive Peer Relations • Sociometric status: extent child is liked or disliked by peer group – Popular: Frequently nominated as a best friend; rarely disliked by peers – Average: An average number of positive & negative nominations from peers – Neglected: Infrequently nominated as a best friend, but not disliked by peers – Rejected: Infrequently nominated as a best friend; actively disliked by peers – Controversial: Frequently nominated as someone’s best friend and as being disliked Neglected and Rejected Children • Neglected children: – Low rates of peer interaction – Often described as shy • Rejected children – Have more serious adjustment problems – Less likely to engage in classroom participation – Show a desire to avoid school – More likely to be lonely • When children are aggressive + rejected delinquency as adolescents and adults Friendship during Childhood • Amount of time spent with peers increases; less aggressive exchanges • Children use friends as cognitive and social resources • Friends generally similar — age, sex, ethnicity, and many other factors Friendship during Adolescence • Need for intimacy intensifies • Quality of friendship feelings of well-being • Important sources of support • Girls – Intimacy, self-disclosure – Conflict having patience • Boys – Power and excitement; conflict control over another – Discourage self-disclosure • Mixed-age friendships – More risk of delinquent behavior when friends are older – Early maturers more at risk for delinquent behavior Adult Friendships • Based on similarities: occupational status, ethnicity, age, marital status, income, education, gender, and religion • Differences between family and friends – Family is obligatory; friendships optional – Family is ascribed; friendships chosen – Family spanned generations; friends have similarities • Gender Differences – Women: More close friends; More intimate; talk more – Men: More competitive; Engage in activities, especially outdoors – More cross-gender friendships than childhood but still prefer same-gender Friendship in Late Adulthood • Important role; tend to narrow their social network • Choose close friends over new friends • Gender differences – Women: more depressed without a best friend; no change in desire for friends – Men: decreased desire for new and close friends in older adulthood Culture • Culture: Behavior patterns, beliefs, and all other products of a group of people that are passed on from generation to generation – Ethnocentrism: tendency to favor one’s own group over other groups – Culture and the study of Life Span Development • Has been generally ethnocentric; focused on American values, especially those of mid-SES white males Cultural Differences: Individualism and Collectivism • Individualism — giving priority to persona
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