Ecology of the Peer Group
Ecology of the Peer Group
Chronosystem Influences on the Peer Group: Play/ Activities
The significance and Development of Play
Play is behavior enjoyed by its own sake
Parten categorized play as follows-
Solitary: child plays alone and independantly
Onlooker: Child watches other children play
Parallel: The child plays alone, but with toys that other children are using or mimmicks the behavior of playing children
Associative: Social interaction and communication are involved in associative play, with little or no organization.
Cooperative: Social interaction in a group
Sutton-Smith categorized play- Imitative, Exploratory, Testing, Model-building
Other types of play- Rough and tumble play, pretend play
Infant/Toddler Peer Activities- begins as young as 2 months of age.
Early Childhood Peer Activities- Increases in frequency and becomes more complex and at ages 3-4 children begin to enjoy playing in groups
Middle Childhood/ Preadolescent Peer Activities
Initiate informal groups
Quality of games begins to reflect their culture and is apt to be more gender-specific
Game patterns change with cognitive, psychological and social cultural influences.
Adolescent Peer Activities- In early adolescence, most activities occur with same-sex peers, whereas in later adolescence, activities that attract and include the opposite sex are favored.
Peer Group Dynamic and Social Hierarchies
Inclusion and Exclusion
Antisocial Behavior: Gangs
Prosocial Behavior: peer Collaboration, Tutoring/counseling
Mesosystem Influences on the Peer Group
Adult Structure Peer Groups
Adult-Mediated Group Interaction
How adults mediate, or structure, the social interaction within a peer group-competitive or cooperative-influences children's behavior.
Sherif et. (1961) found:
Groups tend to stratify, some individuals more dominate roles and others submissive
Groups develop norms
Frustration and competition contribute to hostility between groups
Intergroup hostility can often be reduced by setting up a superordinate, or common, goal that requires the mutual efforts of both groups.
Adult leadership Styles
Groups led by adults differing markedly in the kind of leadership provided
Three kinds of leadership styles include authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire
sports are organized interactions of children in competitive and/or cooperative team or individual enjoyable physical activities.
Sports offer various methods of learning about oneself and one's peers.
Adults play an important role in mediating children's experience in group and individual sport
Macrosystem Influences on the Peer Group: Developmental Tasks
Getting Along with Others- Peers provide give and take relationships.
Developing Moral and Values- Children learn and understand rules, Peers provide opportunities which help shape basic morals and values.
Morality of constraint (heteronomous morality) respect for persons in authority.
Morality of cooperation (autonomous morality) behavior based on mutual understanding between equals.
Learning Appropriate Sociocultural Roles
The peer group gives children the opportunity to try out roles learned at home
Gender roles are sociocultural, children learn from their peers what is culturally acceptable and admirable for boys and girls.
Peer group is often the imparter of information about sexuality.
Mechanics about reproduction are from parents/school and sexual behaviors come from peers and media
Achieving personal independence and Identity
Social support- provided by others in times of need- tangible, Intellectual, Social, Emotional
Peer Group Interaction
Development of Friendship
Early Childhood is characterized as momentary playmateship
Early to middle childhood is characterized as one-way assistance
Middle childhood is characterized as two-way, fair-weather cooperation
Middle childhood to adolescence is characterized by intimate, mutually shared relationships.
Adolescence to adulthood is characterized by autonomous interdependent friendships
Acceptance/Neglect/Rejection by peers
A child's acceptance by peers and successful interactions will depend on a willingness to cooperate and interact positively with other children.
Accepted and rejected children wend to have different characteristics.
Sociometry- techniques used to measure patterns of acceptance, neglect and rejection among members of a group
Sociotherapy- intervention to help children who have trouble making and keeping friends learn to relate to others.
The Peer Group as a Socializing Agent
Peers-individuals who are the same gender, age and social status and share same interest.
Significance of Peers to Development
Infancy/Toddler-hood-first in family, then peers
Early childhood-Adults provide interaction
Middle Childhood-social interactions increase
Adolescence- Relationships are delineated, sense of closeness
Belonging needs Socialization
Sense of Self and personal identity
Infancy/Toddlerhood- Relationships with peers reciprocate over the next three years.
Early Childhood-opportunities for greater independence, peer group becomes an important source of self-confirmation, role-models become important to self-image
Adolescence- Peer activities escalate, turn to parents for future decisions, friends for present decisions, Parental values dominate moral issues, peer values dominate on appearance.
Parent vs. Peer influence
Parenting style is linked to differences in children's peer interactions
Authoritative- Children have little need to rebel or desperately seek acceptance from parents
Authoritarian- Children often alienate themselves from parental values and are attracted to the peer group to gain understanding and respect.
Permissive- May be drawn to peer group that are antisocial and have a negative influence on their value and behaviors
Psychological Development: Emotions
Poor peer relations in childhood linked to later development of neurotic and psychotic behavior and to a greater tendance to drop out of school.
Social Development: Social Competence and Conformity
Social competence involves behavior informed by and understanding of others feelings and intentions, responding appropriately and knowledge of the consequences on one's actions.
Social competence affects and is affected by: Age, situations, personal values
Cognitive Development: Social Cognition
Social cognition- conceptions and reasoning about people,self, relations with people, social groups roles and rules, relation of conceptions to social behavior.
Social cognition varies by developmental level.
Social cognition- not being aware of peer pressure to conform or the consequences of deviance.
Social cognition in the concrete operational stage- children who put too much faith in their reasoning.
social cognition in the formal operational stage-Imagery audience,
imagery audience- belief that others are as concerned with one's behavior and appearance as oneself.
Children strive extra hard to be like their peers so they will not stand out.
Erickson's theory vs. Role confusion stage
Peer Group Socializing Mechanisms
Reinforcement, Modeling, Punishment, Apprenticeship
Cliques and Crowds
Cliques are friends who view themseles as mutually connected and do things together- dominated by leaders, exclusive in nature.
Crowds are loosely organized reference group of cliques.