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Peers

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Peers

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  1. Peers Peers & Youth Culture Friends Cliques Crowds Peer Popularity and Social Competence Peer Acceptance Characteristics of Popular and Unpopular Adolescents Social Cognition and Social Competence

  2. Peers Peers & Youth Culture Friends Cliques Crowds Peer Popularity and Social Competence Peer Acceptance Characteristics of Popular and Unpopular Adolescents Social Cognition and Social Competence

  3. Peer Group Structure Peers Crowds Cliques Friends

  4. Why study peer groups? • Adolescents spend a lot of time with their peers • Hierarchically unique relationship (equal status) • Piaget thought peers were essential to moral development • Realm of negotiation • Creative co-establishment of rules • Issues of distributive justice

  5. Four major changes • Increased time spent with peers • Functioning with less adult supervision • Increasing contact with members of opposite-sex • Emergence of crowds • Q: Is this an artifact of the school system?

  6. The Nature of Adolescent Peer Groups

  7. Causes of Peer Culture • Factor # 1: Educational system • Age Grouping • Isolating children from adult population • Putting large numbers of children together • Exposure to diversity • Different ethnicities, different backgrounds

  8. Percentage of 14- to 17-year-olds enrolled in school

  9. Causes of Peer Culture • Factor # 1: Educational system • Age Grouping • Isolating children from adult population • Putting large numbers of children together • Exposure to diversity • Different ethnicities, different backgrounds • Factor #2: Work/Family life • Tougher child labor laws • Both parents working • Longer hours • Factor #3: Population shifts • 1 to 7 ratio of adolescents to adults

  10. The Origins of Adolescent Peer Groups in Contemporary Society • Changes in the Population • Baby Boom created an “adolescent boom” in the 1960s and early 1970s • Adolescents comprised over 10% of U.S. population • Teenage population is now about 7% of U.S. population

  11. Youth Culture • Is there a separate youth culture? • Many have same values as parents rather than with those of same age • Young people maintain attitudes/values different from the rest of society • Individuality, learning, knowledge • Consumer behavior • Music, movies/TV, technology

  12. Problem of youth culture • Development of counter values • Coleman: The Adolescent Society (1961) • Do adolescents (de)value academic achievement? • Why or why not? • Should we be concerned? • Increase in counter-culture activities • Why would increased peer/decreased adult contact promote this?

  13. Benefit of youth culture • Cultivation of universalistic norms • Technological advancements • Postfigurative cultures • Cofigurative cultures • Prefigurative cultures

  14. Technological Change & Youth Culture (Mead, 1928) • Postfigurative Culture • Youth learn from their elders (e.g., traditional methods of farming) • Cofigurative Culture • Learning from both elders and peers • Prefigurative Culture • Jody teaches her father how to use the Internet

  15. Peers Peers & Youth Culture Friends discuss later with Intimacy Cliques Crowds Peer Popularity and Social Competence Peer Acceptance Characteristics of Popular and Unpopular Adolescents Social Cognition and Social Competence

  16. The Nature of Adolescent Peer Groups • Cliques and Crowds • Cliques are small groups defined by common activities/friendship and form a regular social group • Crowds are larger, more vaguely defined groups, based on reputation • Jocks, brains, nerds, druggies, toughs, punks, populars, socies, and so on • not necessarily friends and do not necessarily spend time together

  17. Adolescents and Their Cliques:Similarity among Clique Members • Cliques typically are composed of people of: • same age • same race • same socioeconomic background • same sex – at least during early and middle adolescence

  18. Adolescents and Their Cliques:Similarity among Clique Members • Selection or Socialization? • Antisocial activities, such as delinquency? • Aggression? • Alcohol, tobacco, depression?

  19. Cliques (cont’d) • Shared interests and activities • Orientation toward school • Orientation toward the teen culture • Involvement in antisocial activity • Deviant peer groups • Aggressive adolescents gravitate toward each other

  20. Adolescents and Their Cliques:Common Interests among Friends • Three factors are important for determining clique membership • Orientation toward school • Orientation toward the teen culture • Involvement in antisocial activity

  21. Adolescents and Their Cliques:Common Interests among Friends • Role of family in friendship choice • Parents socialize certain traits • Predispose teens toward certain crowds • Crowds reward them for the traits that led them there in the first place • Traits are strengthened • Antisocial peers reinforce antisocial traits

  22. Adolescents and Their Cliques:Common Interests Among Friends • Deviant peer groups • Aggressive adolescents gravitate toward each other • Are gangs just deviant peer groups? • Process of antisocial peer group formation in adolescence begins in the home during childhood • Parent-child relationships that are coercive and hostile

  23. Adolescents and Their Cliques:Common Interests among Friends • How stable are friendships over time? • Moderate stability over the school year • More stable during later years of high school • Actual composition of teens’ cliques may shift; defining characteristics of the clique, however, do not

  24. Who Do Adolescents Talk To About? Adolescents are more likely to talk to their friends about opposite sex relationships, and to their parents about career goals. How do you interpret these data? Youniss & Smollar (1985)

  25. Preadolescent Cliques Friendship Choices Among Fourth Graders (from Moreno, 1934, p. 38). Triangles represent males, circles represent females.

  26. Opposite sex transitions • Adolescent interaction with the opposite sex: • Same-sex cliques (fairly isolated non-clique interaction) • Mixed-sex cliques • Cliques divide off into dating pairs • Disintegration of cliques, replaced with sets of couples

  27. Time Spent in Other-Sex Groups or Pairs

  28. Mixed-sex Cliques ♂ ♀

  29. Crowds • Larger, more vaguely defined groups, based on reputation • Jocks, brains, nerds, druggies • May or may not spend time together • Peak in importance in middle adolescence • Vary according to involvement in adult institutions vs. peer activities

  30. Crowds as reference groups • What are crowds? • Lenses through which adolescents see the world • Lenses through which adolescents are seen by the world • Crowds as Reference Groups • Crowds contribute to the definition of norms and standards for such things as clothing, leisure, and tastes in music

  31. The importance of cues • External cues provide stereotypical information • Short vs. long hair • Clothing style • Mannerisms • Q: why are these cues reliable sources of information? • Correlational or causal relationship

  32. Dimensions of cliques • Dimensions of segregation: common interests • Orientation towards adult culture • Orientation towards youth culture • Selection vs. socialization

  33. Adolescents and Their Crowds The Social Map of Adolescence • Involvement in institutions controlled by adults • Involvement in informal peer culture

  34. Conformity, conformity, conformity • The primary message of peer groups: Conformity • Why do you think this is? • When is it (and in what way is it) a good thing? • When is it (and in what way is it) a bad thing?

  35. Developmental Changes in Crowds Keep in Mind… Adolescents do not always accept the crowd label attributed to them by peers. They may see themselves as too distinctly individual to be categorized.

  36. Developmental Changes in Crowds Brown, Mory, & Kinney (1994)

  37. Importance of crowd affiliation Crowd Importance Score Age

  38. Popularity • Popularity (Status): The degree to which children are liked or disliked by their peers as a group. • Measuring popularity: Sociometric techniques • Nomination technique: “Tell me the names of 3 kids in class that you like…” • Rating scale technique: The child is asked to rate each child in the class on a 5 point scale • Paired comparison technique: The child is presented with the names of 2 children at a time and asked which they like more

  39. Status in the Peer Group Sociometric systems classify children into five groups: • Popular • Rejected • Neglected • Average • Controversial.

  40. Peer Acceptance • 2/3 can be placed in one of these categories

  41. Peer Acceptance • 2/3 can be placed in one of these categories

  42. Popular Children • Popular children are liked by many peers and disliked by few peers. • They are skilled at initiating social interaction with peers and maintaining positive relationships with others. • They tend to be cooperative, friendly, sociable, and sensitive to others, and are perceived this way by teachers and parents as well as by other children. • They tend to be more assertive than aggressive, getting what they want without fighting with or hurting others.

  43. Peer Acceptance • 2/3 can be placed in one of these categories

  44. Controversial Children • “Controversial” children are those who are liked by some peers and disliked by others. • They have characteristics of both popular and rejected children. • They may be aggressive, disruptive, and prone to anger, but also cooperative, social, and good at sports. • They may be viewed by peers as arrogant and snobbish. • They may be socially active and good group leaders.

  45. Peer Acceptance • 2/3 can be placed in one of these categories

  46. Neglected Children • Some withdrawn children are categorized as “neglected” because they are neither liked nor disliked. • They tend to back away from peer interactions that involve aggression. • They tend to be neglected primarily because they are not noticed by their peers.

  47. Peer Acceptance • 2/3 can be placed in one of these categories

  48. Rejected Children There are two categories of rejected children: • Aggressive-rejected children are prone to hostile and threatening behavior, physical aggression, disruptive behavior, and delinquency.They engage in “relational aggression,” spreading rumors about others, withholding friendship, and ignoring and excluding other children. • Withdrawn-rejected children (10% to 20% of those in the rejected category) are socially withdrawn, wary, and timid. However, not all withdrawn children are rejected.

  49. Popularity and Rejection in Adolescent Peer Groups • Three types of unpopular adolescents • Aggressive • fights with other students, bullies others • Withdrawn • exceedingly shy, timid, and inhibited • victims of bullying • Aggressive-Withdrawn • hostile, but nervous about initiating friendships

  50. Social Rejection and Self-Evaluations • Withdrawn-rejected children have less confidence in their social skills and are more anxious in peer contexts. • Aggressive-rejected children lack social skills and overestimate their social competence.