Presenter Information

Erin M PodgorskiFollow

Faculty Mentor

Carin Neitzel

Department (e.g. History, Chemistry, Finance, etc.)

Child and Family Studies

College (e.g. College of Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences, Haslam College of Business, etc.)

College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences

Year

2016

Abstract

In the matters of development in children’s peer relationships, we know about the changing structure of children’s play, the composition (typical size, gender segregation, and fluidity) of peer groups in early childhood, and personal characteristics which influence peer selection. However, little is known about processes by which children assume or come to be assigned the role of leader. This study examines the possibility that parent–child relationships contain qualities such as interaction reciprocity and autonomy support that support children’s practice and subsequent relationships with peers. It is hypothesized that the relationship between early parent-child collaborative qualities and children’s leadership with peers would depend on a child’s temperament and language abilities. Interactions of parent-child dyads were observed in the home while young children’s interactions with peers were observed in preschool classrooms. There were individual differences in the degree to which “partnership-like” qualities were exhibited in the parent-child interactions. These qualities were related to differences in children’s social behaviors and roles with peers. Child characteristics moderated these influences of parent-child interactions on leadership within peer relationships. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are presented.

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From Lateral to Leader: A Study of Preschooler's Relationships with Peers

In the matters of development in children’s peer relationships, we know about the changing structure of children’s play, the composition (typical size, gender segregation, and fluidity) of peer groups in early childhood, and personal characteristics which influence peer selection. However, little is known about processes by which children assume or come to be assigned the role of leader. This study examines the possibility that parent–child relationships contain qualities such as interaction reciprocity and autonomy support that support children’s practice and subsequent relationships with peers. It is hypothesized that the relationship between early parent-child collaborative qualities and children’s leadership with peers would depend on a child’s temperament and language abilities. Interactions of parent-child dyads were observed in the home while young children’s interactions with peers were observed in preschool classrooms. There were individual differences in the degree to which “partnership-like” qualities were exhibited in the parent-child interactions. These qualities were related to differences in children’s social behaviors and roles with peers. Child characteristics moderated these influences of parent-child interactions on leadership within peer relationships. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are presented.