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  1. 15 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Peers and the Sociocultural World John W. Santrock

  2. Peers and the Sociocultural World • Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence • Friendship • Play and Leisure • Aging and the Social World • Sociocultural Influences

  3. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence 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 can be negative or positive

  4. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Parent Influences on Peer Relations • Choice of neighborhoods, churches, schools • Recommend strategies to handle disputes or become less shy • Encourage children to be tolerant or resist peer pressure

  5. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Changes in Peer Interaction in Childhood • Early Childhood • Frequency of peer interaction increases • Middle/Late Childhood • Children spend increasing time in peer interaction

  6. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Social Cognition • Perspective taking—taking another’s point of view. • In elementary school, peer interaction and perspective-taking ability increase • Social Knowledge • Social Information-Processing Skills

  7. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Peer Statuses Popular Frequently nominated as a best friend; rarely disliked by peers Average Receive average number of positive and 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

  8. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Bullying • Significant numbers victimized • Boys and younger middle school students • Children who said they were bullied reported more loneliness and difficulty in making friends • Those who did the bullying more likely to have low grades, smoke and drink alcohol

  9. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Gender and Peer Relations • Gender composition • From age 3, children prefer same-sex groups • Group size • From age 6, boys prefer larger groups • Interaction in same-sex groups • Boys: organized group games, rough-and-tumble • Girls: collaborative discourse

  10. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Conformity to Antisocial Peer Standards

  11. Cliques Average 5 to 6 people Usually same sex, age Formed from shared activities, friendship Crowds Larger than cliques Usually formed based on reputation May not spend much time together Friendship Cliques and Crowds

  12. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Progression of Peer Group Relations in Adolescence

  13. Friendship Six Functions of Friendship • Companionship • Stimulation • Physical support • Ego support • Social comparison • Intimacy/affection • intimacy in friendship—self-disclosure and sharing of private thoughts

  14. Friendship Friendship during Childhood • Children use friends as cognitive and social resources • Quality important • Supportive friendships advantageous • Coercive, conflict-ridden friendships not • Similar attitudes

  15. Friendship Friendship during Adolescence • Need for intimacy intensifies • Quality of friendship more strongly linked to feelings of well-being • Important sources of support • Mixed-age friendships

  16. Friendship Developmental Changes in Self-Disclosing Conversations

  17. Friendship Adult Friendship • Family relationships are obligatory, ascribed; friendships optional, chosen • Friends are often similar in age; family members from different generations • Gender Differences • Women: more close friends, more intimate • Men: more competitive, fewer friends, more functional • More cross-gender friendships, than childhood but still prefer same-gender

  18. Friendship Friendship in Late Adulthood • Important role in support system • 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 & close friends in older adulthood

  19. Play and Leisure Functions of Play • Health • Affiliation with peers • Cognitive development • Exploration • Tension release, master anxiety and conflicts • Play therapy

  20. Play and Leisure Parten’s Classic Study of Play Unoccupied Child not engaging in play as commonly understood; might stand in one spot Solitary Child plays alone, independently of others Onlooker Child watches other children play Parallel Child plays separately from others, but in manner that mimics their play Associative Play that involves social interaction with little or no organization Cooperative Play that involves social interaction in group with sense of organized activity

  21. Play and Leisure Types of Play Sensorimotor Infants derive pleasure from exercising their sensorimotor schemes Practice Repetition of behavior when new skills are being learned Pretense/Symbolic Occurs when child transforms physical environment into symbol Social Involves social interactions with peers Games Activities engaged in for pleasure; include rules

  22. Aging and the Social World Social Theories of Aging Disengagementtheory To cope effectively, older adults should gradually withdraw from society Activity theory The more active and involved older adults are, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their lives Social breakdown-reconstructiontheory Breakdown begins by negative views of older adults, ends by labeling self; social reconstruction brought about by viewing older adults as competent

  23. Aging and the Social World Stereotyping of Older Adults • Ageism—prejudice against other people because of age, especially prejudice against older adults

  24. Aging and the Social World Social Support • Linked with a reduction in symptoms of disease • Associated with ability to meet one’s own health care needs • Decreases probability older adult will be institutionalized • Associated with lower incidence of depression in older adults

  25. Aging and the Social World Successful Aging • Many abilities maintained or even improved as we get older • Being active • Perceived control over the environment

  26. Older persons have valuable knowledge Older persons control key family or community resources Older persons permitted to engage in useful and valued functions Role continuity throughout the life span Age-related role changes involve greater responsibility, authority, and advisory capacity The extended family is a common family arrangement More collectivistic than individualistic Sociocultural Influences Seven factors most likely to predict high status for elderly

  27. Sociocultural Influences What Is Socioeconomic Status? • Grouping of people with similar occupational, educational, and economic characteristics

  28. Sociocultural Influences Socioeconomic Variations in Families • Higher SES parents: • Develop children’s initiative and delay gratification • Create home atmosphere in which children are more nearly equal participants • Less likely to use physical punishment • Less directive • More conversational with children

  29. Sociocultural Influences Psychological Ramifications of Poverty • Powerlessness • Vulnerable to disaster • Alternatives are restricted • Less prestige • Lower quality home environments for children

  30. Sociocultural Influences Who is Poor? • Women - feminization of poverty • 1/3 of single mothers; 10% of single fathers • Families • Economic pressure linked with parenting • Benefits to parents help children • Elderly • 10-12% overall, more among women and ethnic minorities • Some ethnic minority individuals

  31. Sociocultural Influences Ethnicity and Families • Family structure • Extended families in some minority groups • More single parents in some groups • Similarities and differences in parenting behavior • Poverty—disproportionate in ethnic minorities — also has effects • Acculturation can cause parent-child conflict

  32. Sociocultural Influences Differences and Diversity • Recognizing differences important to getting along in diverse world • Differences among ethnic groups too often conceived by majority as deficits of minorities. • Damaging to minorities • Diversity within ethnic groups

  33. Sociocultural Influences Ethnicity and Aging • Double jeopardy - ageism and racism • Health and wealth decrease faster in age than for White Americans • Coping mechanisms • Extended family networks • Ethnic neighborhoods • Churches