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  1. 15 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Peers and the Sociocultural Word 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 and evaluations 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 • Provide emotional base from which to explore peer relations

  5. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Developmental Changes • Early Childhood • Frequency of peer interaction increases • Middle/Late Childhood • Children spend increasing time in peer interaction • Average time spent • 10% of time spent with peers at age 2 • 20% of time spent with peers at age 4 • 40% of time spent with peers during ages 7-11

  6. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Social Cognition • Thoughts about social matters • 5 steps in processing information • Decode social cues • Interpret • Search for response • Select optimal response • Enact • Affects ability to get along with peers

  7. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Emotional Regulation and Peer Relations • Greater peer rejection for moody, negative children • Emotional self-regulation enhances children’s social competence • Sociometric status: extent child is liked or disliked by peer group

  8. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Peer Statuses Frequently nominated as a best friend; rarely disliked by peers Popular Receive average number of positive and negative nominations from peers Average Infrequently nominated as a best friend but not disliked by peers Neglected Infrequently nominated as a best friend; actively disliked by peers Rejected Frequently nominated as someone's best friend and as being disliked Controversial

  9. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence 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 • Not all rejected children are aggressive

  10. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Bullying • Physical or verbal behavior with harmful intent • Significant numbers victimized • Boys and younger middle school students • Victims of bullies reported more loneliness and difficulty in making friends • Those who did the bullying more likely to have low grades, smoke and drink alcohol

  11. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Bullying • To reduce bullying • Older peers serve as monitors and intervene • Develop school-wide rules and sanctions • Form friendship groups for victims • Spread anti-bullying message to community • Parents reinforce and model positive behaviors • Identify bullies and victims early • Provide professional help for bully and victim

  12. 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

  13. Peer Relations in Childhood and Adolescence Adolescent Peer Relations • Peer pressure - peers play powerful roles • Cliques and crowds— to be liked and included • Peers play important role in individual development in all cultures • Cross-cultural comparisons

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

  15. Friendship Friendship during Childhood • Children use friends as cognitive and social resources • Not all friends and friendships are equal • Supportive friendships advantageous • Coercive, conflict-ridden friendships not • Friends generally similar — age, sex, ethnicity, and many other factors

  16. 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 • Friends are active partners in building a sense of identity

  17. Friendship Friendship during Adolescence • Girls more intimate with friends than boys, more open in self-disclosures • More risk of delinquent behavior when friends are older, boys focus on power and excitement • Early maturers more at risk for delinquent behavior

  18. Friendship Adult Friendship • Family relationships are obligatory, ascribed • Cannot choose to replace parents and siblings • Family members from different generations • Friendship optional, chosen • Can select and replace friends • Friends are often similar in age

  19. Friendship Adult Friendship • Based on similarities: occupational sttus, 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

  20. Friendship Adult Friendship • 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

  21. Friendship 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

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

  23. 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 Play and Leisure Parten’s Classic Study of Play

  24. 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 Constructive Self-regulated creation of products or solutions; a frequent form of play Games Activities for pleasure, has rules, involves competition, turn-taking, etc. Play and Leisure Types of Play

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

  26. Aging and the Social World Stereotyping of Older Adults • Ageism— prejudice against other people because of age, especially prejudice against older adults • Personal consequences of negative stereotyping can be serious

  27. Aging and the Social World Social Support and Social Integration • Social convoy model of social relations — go through life embedded in personal network of individuals that give social support • Helps those of all ages cope • Improves mental and physical health • Linked to reduced symptoms of disease • Linked to longevity • Emotionally positive contact lowers depression

  28. Aging and the Social World The Stress of Caring for Older Adults • Individuals with long-term caregiving responsibilities are at risk for • Clinical depression • Compromised immune systems

  29. Aging and the Social World Successful Aging • Positive dimensions often ignored • Proper diet, technology, medical advances, and active lifestyle prolong and enhance quality of life • Related to perceived control over one’s environment (self-efficacy)

  30. Sociocultural Influences Individualism and Collectivism • Individualism— giving priority to personal goals rather than to group goals; emphasizing values that serve the self • Collectivism— emphasizing values that serve the group by subordinating personal goals to preserve group integrity, interdependence of members, and harmonious relationships

  31. The media and culture Reduced parents’ control of information Greatest influence in the U.S. Television – greater impact on children Positive and negative effects Violence and aggression, video games Computer and the internet Highest risks to children and adolescents Effects on aging adults Sociocultural Influences Influences on Rites of Passage

  32. Older persons Have valuable knowledge Control key family/community resources Remain useful and valued as long as possible Have role continuity throughout yje life span Engage in age-related role changes Is integrated into the extended family Get greatest respect in collectivistic cultures Sociocultural Influences Aging and Culture

  33. Sociocultural Influences What Is Socioeconomic Status? • SES • Grouping of people with similar occupational, educational, and economic characteristics • Number depends on community’s size, complexity • Low SES and middle SES • Each could have many subcategories • SES variations in neighborhoods, schools • Each level views education differently

  34. Sociocultural Influences Family Socioeconomic Variations • Lower SES parents: • Stress conformity • Exercise authority • Use physical punishment • More directive, use less conversation with children • Higher SES parents: • Stress ‘initiative’ and delayed gratification • Children are nearly equal participants in home rules, etc. • Less likely to use physical punishment • Less directive, more conversational

  35. Sociocultural Influences Psychological Ramifications of Poverty • Poverty: U.S. rates continue to increase • Tends to follow ethnic lines • Highest for children of all industrialized nations • Psychological effects of poverty • Powerless, vulnerable, no financial resources • Inadequate housing, at-risk environment, etc. • Long term effects: chronic health problems

  36. Sociocultural Influences Who is Poor? • Women —feminization of poverty • Over 1/3 of single mothers; 10% of single fathers • Families and poverty • Economic pressure linked with parenting • Benefits to parents help children • Poverty, aging, and ethnicity • 10-12% overall, more among women and ethnic minorities; more than 25% of older women • Ethnic diversity continues to increase

  37. Sociocultural Influences Immigration • Relatively high rates — contribute to U.S. ethnic diversity • Special stressors often experienced • Language barriers • Separation from support network • SES changes • Preserving ethnic identity versus acculturation • Cultural value conflicts within family

  38. Sociocultural Influences Ethnicity • Ethnicity and socioeconomic status • Difficult to separate influences of ethnicity and SES • Minorities overrepresented in lower SES may cause exaggeration of negative ethnic influences • Links between acculturation and adolescent problems

  39. 15 The End