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PEERS. Peers. Peers—Children or adolescents who are about the same age or maturity level. Benefits: Source of social support Serve as a source of comparison Source of experimentation and feedback. Statistics about Peers.

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  1. PEERS

  2. Peers • Peers—Children or adolescents who are about the same age or maturity level. • Benefits: • Source of social support • Serve as a source of comparison • Source of experimentation and feedback

  3. Statistics about Peers • According to some studies, children interact with their peers 10% of the day around the age of 2 years. • 20% of the day around the age of 4 years. • 40% of the day between ages 7 to 11 years. • In a typical weekend, adolescents spend twice as much time with peers than their parents. Generally, peers engage in: • Team Sports/Play • Going Places • Socializing

  4. Are Peers Necessary for Development? • Positive peer interactions have been found to reduce psychosocial outcomes (depression, self-esteem, stress) and behavioral outcomes (delinquency, alcohol, academic performance/school dropouts). • Peer support/influence is also linked to adolescent’s ability to cope with stressful life events. • According to J. Piaget and Harry Sullivan, the learning experience from peers are essential towards forming perspectives on: • Right and wrong • Healthy and long-term intimate relationships.

  5. Not All Peer Interactions are Healthy!#^%$ • When children are casted out of peer related social groups, they generally suffer across multiple baselines: • Childhood depression • Delinquency/Antisocial behaviors • Negative peer influences (e.g., drug usage, gangs, violence) • Feelings of loneliness • Suicide (Discuss article in People’s magazine)

  6. Family and Peer Influences • The research field is inconclusive regarding adolescent’s social support systems: Family support vs. Peer support • Parents play a vital role in determining peer relationships: • Choices of residence • Schools • Neighborhoods. • Parents model appropriate ways of interacting with peers. • Parents help teens problem-solve challenges with peers and even help to deal with peer pressure. • Adolescents with secure attachments with parents generally have secure attachments with their peers.

  7. Peer conformity. This occurs when individuals adopt the attitudes or behaviors of others because of real or imagined pressure from them. • Teens form all sorts of cliques in the name of social conformity. Gangs, Columbine incident. • These cliques are often expressed through dress affiliation, music, and language. • Teens often engage in many negative behaviors to fit in peer groups. • This inevitable put them in conflict with parents and society. • Teens are struggling for independence from their parents while at the same time still being partially dependent on them. • This makes them vulnerable to peer influence. They are still dependent upon others for feedback and emotional support.

  8. Adolescents do not always do what their peers want them to do • Non-conformity. This occurs when individuals know what people around them expect but do not use those expectations to guide their behavior. • Anti-conformity. This occurs when individuals react counter to a group’s expectations and deliberately move away from the actions or beliefs the group advocates.

  9. PEER STATUS • Popular Children. Children who are frequently nominated as a best friend and are rarely disliked by their peers. Characteristics: • Good communication skills with peers • Show enthusiasm and concern for others • Self-confident • Draw other people to them • In many cases, adolescents who are very attractive and/or very intelligent tend to be popular. Also, adolescents from middle class families tend to be more popular • Neglected Children. Children who are infrequently nominated as a best friend but are not disliked by their peers. • Professionals have noted that the best way to help them develop is to teach them how to be noticed by their peers.

  10. Peer Status • Rejected Children. Children who are infrequently nominated as a best friend and are actively disliked by their peers. • Rejected children tend to have more serious problems later in life; more often than neglected (school dropout, delinquency, aggression). • 10 to 20% of these adolescents tend to be shy and withdrawn. • Professionals have noted that the best way to help these children is to develop their listening skills and sensitivity to what others are saying about them. • Controversial Children. Children who are frequently nominated both as a best friend and as being disliked. • Girls in this group were found to have a increased risk of becoming teen mothers than girls in other groups. • Aggressive girls were also found to be more likely be teen mothers than non aggressive girls.

  11. Social Cognition • Some studies seem to suggest that there is a correlation between peer relations and social cognitive skills. • Children who demonstrated the ability to effectively problem-solve tasks • Children who were assertive and mature in interacting and problem-solving with peers • Children who focused less on aggression as a problem-solving method.

  12. Cognitive/Emotional Regulation • According to Kenneth Dodge, children go thru 5 steps in processing information about their social world: • Decoding the social cues • Interpretation • Response search • Selecting an optimal response • Enactment • Emotional Regulation • Children who can control their emotions and reduce outbursts generally tend to be more accepted by their peers. • Remember, behavior must be predictable, manageable or there is stress.

  13. Conglomerate Strategies for Improving Social Skills • Conglomerate Strategies. The use of a combination of techniques rather than a single approach to improve adolescents social skills; coaching children. Strategies: • Initiate interaction • Be nice • Prosocial behavior • Respect for self and others • Provide social support Inappropriate strategies: Psychological aggression Negative self presentation Antisocial behavior

  14. Bullying • Bullying is a frequent occurrence in our schools and communities. One study noted the occurrence in 30% of the sampled population. • Bullied children tend to be more likely to come from authoritarian homes. • They were found to come from families where parents were over controlling, over emotionally attached. • Perceived to be weak • VICTIMS: • Generally become withdrawn from others • Poor performance regarding school work • Depressed • Poor self-esteem

  15. Friendships • Six functions of adolescents’ friendships: • Companionship • Stimulation • Physical support • Ego support • Social comparison • Intimacy/affection • According to Sullivan, there is a significant increase in the need for friends during the period of adolescence. Friends are essential for emotional well-being • Without playful companionship, children may become bored and depressed • Without the need for social acceptance, children will experience low self-worth • Friendships become a major source by which we share personal secrets.

  16. Intimacy and Similarity • Intimacy in friendship. Generally defined as self-disclosure or sharing of private thoughts. • Gender differences in describing friends: • Adolescents describe their friends as someone they can understand them, share intimate secrets, listen to their feelings • Girls. Generally describe their friends as “sensitive just like me” or “trustworthy just like me.” Focus on interpersonal traits. Girls more likely to have best friends and to be in cliques. • Boys. Generally discourage intimate disclosure in relation to masculinity issues. • These gender distinctions were not generally found among African-American children. • Friends are more likely to be in the same gender, ethnicity, share the same values, and life experiences.

  17. Groups • Groups are essential in that they establish norms and roles • There appears to be variation in groups as a function of socioeconomic status and ethnicity. • Middle class adolescents tend to give leadership to forming and participating in school related organizations. • African-American adolescents tend to excel in athletic related groups. • Other studies note that minorities rely more on peer groups for social support than Caucasians.

  18. Cliques and Crowds • Cliques. Small groups that range from 2 to about 12 individuals and average about five to six individuals • Crowds. A larger group structure than cliques. Adolescents are usually members of a crowd based on reputation and may or may not spend much time together • Jocks • Druggies • Nerds • Prissies • Nobodies

  19. Dating and Romantic Relationships • 8 functions of dating: (Pg. 208) • Dating can be a form of recreation • Dating is a source of status and achievement • Dating is part of the socialization process in adolescence • Dating involves learning about intimacy and meaning relationships • Dating can be a context for sexual experimentation and exploration • Dating can provide companionship • Dating experiences contribute to identity formation and development • Dating can be a means of mate sorting and selection

  20. Dating • Rise of cyber dating in our society • Most adolescents start dating around the age of 14 in the US, range 12-16. • Among Asians and Latinos, families are generally more conservative about adolescent dating • In US culture, parental restrictions generally result in sneak dating. • Example. My neigbor.

  21. Dating Rituals • What do parents teach us about dating? • What do peers teach us about dating? • Boys are generally taught to initiate. • Chivalry, is it dead or alive? • Girls are generally taught to be reactive. Value the importance of courtship and innocence. • Is it dead or alive?

  22. SCHOOLS Chapter 11

  23. School: The Historical Perspective • The 20th century represents a time of significant policies and expectations which prolonged the period of adolescence, the exposure to education, and the transition to adulthood • Education shifted from primarily an exclusive activity of the noble class to an expectation of all adolescents • Curriculum shift from classical and liberal arts to general education, college preparatory, and vocational education courses • Secondary education became the shaping ground for adolescent development across the social, academic, and career baseline

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