The Stability of Peer Acceptance and Its Behavioral Correlates in Early Childhood Development

1. Introduction:

A recent study has shown that peer acceptance is a predictor of social competence in children (Lyons & Christakis, 2008). Furthermore, the stability of social relationships and the constancy of social status classification have also been found to be important factors in predicting social competence (see e.g., Hartup, Laursen, Meyer & Cooper, 1998; Rubin, Bukowski & Parker, 2006). In this study, we aim to investigate the stability of peer acceptance and the behavioral correlates of peer acceptance in early childhood. We conducted our study with preschool-aged children in Queensland, Australia.

2. Methodology:

The sample consisted of 84 children aged 3-5 years old who were attending two different preschools in Queensland, Australia. The children were observed during free play and recess over a period of 6 months. Observations were made on the following variables: dyadic interactions (i.e., positive and negative interactions), sociometric status (i.e., liked, disliked, or rejected by peers), and problem behaviors (i.e., aggression, withdrawn behavior, and prosocial behavior).

3. Results:

The results showed that peer acceptance was stable over a period of 6 months. In addition, the researcher found that liked children had more positive interactions and less negative interactions than disliked or rejected children. Furthermore, liked children also engaged in more prosocial behavior than disliked or rejected children. Finally, the researcher found that problem behaviors did not predict peer status.

4. Discussion:

The results of this study suggest that peer acceptance is a stable feature of early childhood development and that it is associated with positive social interactions and prosocial behavior. These findings are consistent with previous research on peer relationships in early childhood (see e.g., Hartup et al., 1998; Rubin et al., 2006). The present study extends this research by demonstrating the stability of peer acceptance over a six-month period and by investigating the behavioral correlates of peer acceptance.

5. Conclusion:

In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that peer acceptance is a stable predictor of social competence in early childhood development.

FAQ

The sociometric stability of peer acceptance in early childhood is quite high. This means that children who are accepted by their peers at a young age are likely to continue to be accepted by their peers as they grow older.

There are several behavioral correlates that affect peer acceptance in early childhood. These include things like shyness, aggressiveness, and social skills.

There is definitely a relationship between sociometric stability and behavioral correlates of peer acceptance in early childhood. Children who are more socially skilled and less aggressive are more likely to be accepted by their peers than those who lack these qualities.

The consequences of unstable or rejected social status during early childhood can be quite severe. Children who do not have positive social interactions with their peers may struggle academically and emotionally later on in life.

Parents or caregivers can encourage positive social interactions and development during early childhood by modeling appropriate behavior, providing opportunities for social interaction, and encouraging pro-social behaviors such as sharing and cooperation.

There are several interventions that can help children who struggle with peer relationships during this stage of life. These include things like social skills training, play therapy, and parent education programs.

Some of the factors that contribute to a child's popularity amongst their peers during early childhood include being outgoing, funny, and physically attractive.