Peer Groups


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The evolution of the ecology of peer groups, from infancy to adolescence.

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Peer Groups

  1. 1. Peer Groups Stephanie Scharf CEHS 200: Chapter 8 Nov. 3, 2008
  2. 2. Main Points: <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Peer Groups and Play </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior Influences </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance vs. Rejection </li></ul><ul><li>Positive and Negative Outcomes </li></ul>
  3. 3. Peers equals, individuals who are usually of the same gender, age, and social status and who share interests
  4. 4. Ecological Model Real Life Example I am an only child. Therefore, my social interactions with peers took place only at school and church . Often, the friends I made would come visit in the evenings, where my parents would supervise our activities. Friends visit Make Friends CHILD PEERS FAMILY SCHOOL/ CHURCH
  5. 5. Purpose of Peer Groups
  6. 6. <ul><li>Satisfy certain belonging needs </li></ul><ul><li>Often preferred to other socializing agents </li></ul><ul><li>Influence social, cognitive and psychological development </li></ul><ul><li>Influence development of morals and values </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction provides instruction on acceptable behavior. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Social Support – resources provided by others in times of need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation for the self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouragement to try new things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for comparison </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable self-disclosure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide identity </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Evolution of Peer Interaction
  9. 9. <ul><li>Infancy/Toddlerhood </li></ul><ul><li>First feel belonging and develop attachment to parents </li></ul><ul><li>Capable of simple interactions distinguishing self from others </li></ul><ul><li>Progress from emotional to behavioral interactions </li></ul><ul><li>By 3.5 can be socially involved with peers </li></ul><ul><li>Friendship: momentary playmateship </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Early Childhood </li></ul><ul><li>Parenting styles affect opportunity for social interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Deal with more complex issues such as power, compliance, cooperation, and conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction increases and becomes more complex, forming groups </li></ul><ul><li>Friendship: one-way assistance </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Middle Childhood </li></ul><ul><li>School age children experience increase in social interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Peer group attractive because opportunity for independence from family </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy the closeness and sharing of emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Group provides identity models </li></ul><ul><li>Peer interaction more than 30% of their time </li></ul><ul><li>Activities become gender-specific and reflect culture </li></ul><ul><li>Friendship: Two-way, fair-weather cooperation; intimate, mutually shared relationships </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Adolescence </li></ul><ul><li>Develop “best friends” and base friendships off closeness of the relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Peer group activities escalate </li></ul><ul><li>Turn to group for “what’s hot now” </li></ul><ul><li>“ hang out”, talk, watch TV, listen to music, play video games, be seen, see who else is “hanging” with whom, wait for something to happen </li></ul><ul><li>Friendship: autonomous interdependent friendships </li></ul>
  13. 13. Peer Groups and Play
  14. 14. <ul><li>Help learn about environment </li></ul><ul><li>Imaginary situations governed by social rules </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptable way to express emotions and impulses </li></ul><ul><li>Practice skills necessary for adult life </li></ul>
  15. 15. Peer Group Organization
  16. 16. <ul><li>Cliques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mutually connected by doing things together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crowds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>loosely organized reference groups of cliques </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Ways Peer Groups Influence Behavior
  18. 18. <ul><li>Reinforcement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>giving attention and acceptance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modeling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>imitation, conformity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Punishment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>teasing, physical aggression, rejection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apprenticeship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the “expert” helps the “novice” </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Stratify </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some individuals more dominant and other submissive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop norms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>standards that serve as guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frustration and competition contribute to hostility </li></ul><ul><li>Competition between groups fosters cohesiveness within groups </li></ul><ul><li>Intergroup hostility can often be reduced by working towards a common goal </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Adult influence </li></ul><ul><li>How adults mediate the social interaction within a peer group – competitive or cooperative – influences children’s behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Adult leadership style influences socialization </li></ul>
  21. 21. Peer Acceptance Versus Rejection
  22. 22. Common Behavior Traits
  23. 23. Positive Peer Group Outcomes
  24. 24. <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Tutoring </li></ul><ul><li>Counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood affects positive or negative effects </li></ul>
  25. 25. Negative Peer Group Outcomes
  26. 26. <ul><li>Bullies and Victims </li></ul><ul><li>Gangs </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Bully Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Domination </li></ul><ul><li>Physically stronger </li></ul><ul><li>Impulsive, low frustration tolerance, easily angered </li></ul><ul><li>Rule-breakers </li></ul><ul><li>Show little empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Positive self-concept </li></ul><ul><li>Antisocial behavior </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Victim Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Physically weaker </li></ul><ul><li>Show fear of pain </li></ul><ul><li>Poor physical coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Cautious, sensitive, quiet, passive, submissive, shy </li></ul><ul><li>Anxious, insecure, unhappy </li></ul><ul><li>Negative self-concept </li></ul><ul><li>Relate better to adults than peers </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>What to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intervention with bullies that do not reinforce harassment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intervention with victims to alter negative self-concept and to respond in nonreinforcing ways to threats </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Gang </li></ul><ul><li>group of people who form an allegiance for a common purpose and engage in unlawful or criminal activity </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Reasons Gangs Form </li></ul><ul><li>Racism </li></ul><ul><li>Socioeconomics </li></ul><ul><li>Family structure </li></ul><ul><li>Belief system </li></ul>
  32. 32. Peer Groups Stephanie Scharf CEHS 200: Chapter 8 Nov. 3, 2008