2 PeersPeers—Children or adolescents who are about the same age or maturity level.Benefits:Source of social supportServe as a source of comparisonSource 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/PlayGoing PlacesSocializing
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 wrongHealthy 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 depressionDelinquency/Antisocial behaviorsNegative peer influences (e.g., drug usage, gangs, violence)Feelings of lonelinessSuicide (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 supportParents play a vital role in determining peer relationships:Choices of residenceSchoolsNeighborhoods.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 Teens often engage in many negative behaviors to fit in peer groups. 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 STATUSPopular Children. Children who are frequently nominated as a best friend and are rarely disliked by their peers. Characteristics:Good communication skills with peersShow enthusiasm and concern for othersSelf-confidentDraw other people to themIn 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 popularNeglected 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 StatusRejected 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 CognitionSome 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 tasksChildren who were assertive and mature in interacting and problem-solving with peersChildren 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 cuesInterpretationResponse searchSelecting an optimal responseEnactmentEmotional RegulationChildren 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 interactionBe niceProsocial behaviorRespect for self and othersProvide social supportInappropriate strategies:Psychological aggressionNegative self presentationAntisocial behavior
14 BullyingBullying 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 weakVICTIMS:Generally become withdrawn from othersPoor performance regarding school workDepressedPoor self-esteem
15 Friendships Six functions of adolescents’ friendships: CompanionshipStimulationPhysical supportEgo supportSocial comparisonIntimacy/affectionAccording to Sullivan, there is a significant increase in the need for friends during the period of adolescence. Friends are essential for emotional well-beingWithout playful companionship, children may become bored and depressedWithout the need for social acceptance, children will experience low self-worthFriendships 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 feelingsGirls. 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 CrowdsCliques. Small groups that range from 2 to about 12 individuals and average about five to six individualsCrowds. A larger group structure than cliques. Adolescents are usually members of a crowd based on reputation and may or may not spend much time togetherJocksDruggiesNerdsPrissiesNobodies
19 Dating and Romantic Relationships 8 functions of dating: (Pg. 208)Dating can be a form of recreationDating is a source of status and achievementDating is part of the socialization process in adolescenceDating involves learning about intimacy and meaning relationshipsDating can be a context for sexual experimentation and explorationDating can provide companionshipDating experiences contribute to identity formation and developmentDating 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, rangeAmong Asians and Latinos, families are generally more conservative about adolescent datingIn 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?
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 adulthoodEducation shifted from primarily an exclusive activity of the noble class to an expectation of all adolescentsCurriculum shift from classical and liberal arts to general education, college preparatory, and vocational education coursesSecondary education became the shaping ground for adolescent development across the social, academic, and career baseline