Social development in Infancy and Childhood : Social Development

Social development in Infancy and Childhood

Understanding of

By nature, people are social creatures—it is evolutionarily adaptive that, during all periods of life, interaction with others occurs. From infancy to adulthood, however, the way in which the interaction takes place, as well as with whom, changes. During infancy, interactions occur primarily with parents and family members. During childhood the frequency of interactions with same-age peers increases, though parental support is still important. Adolescence marks the increased centrality of interactions with peers and the emergence of romantic relationships. Both of these events forecast the progression into adulthood, during which individuals become autonomous from parents and often begin families of their own.

The developing person is affected by multiple socializing forces, including biological, parental, peer, and cultural factors. The results of these forces include one's views of the self and others, one's personality, and one's behaviors (e.g., aggression) when interacting with others. Moreover, these socializing forces and the complex array of outcomes show both normative trends and interindividual variability across development.

Biological and familial factors are important socializing agents in infancy, while peer relationships become more important in childhood and adolescence. This is not meant to imply, however, that other socializing agents play no role during certain periods of development. Similarly, the focus in this article on particular topics during only one period of development should not be taken to mean that these topics are not salient aspects of social development during other periods.

Additional Topics

Even before a child is born, much has occurred in terms of social development. Genetic and prenatal biological factors play a large, persistent role in determining later social behavior. After birth, parents and other family members are the key socializing agents of the preschooler's development. By studying monozygotic (i.e., identical) and dizygotic (i.e., fraternal) twins, as well as ado…

Children spend much of their time with similar-age peers. Meaningful interactions between peers begin in infancy—infants direct and respond to each other's smiles and vocalizations. As preschoolers age, their interactions with peers become increasingly complex, progressing from solitary play to onlooking (child watches others but does not join), parallel play (child plays beside but…

Whereas opposite-sex interactions are infrequent in childhood, they increase during adolescence. Much of this increase is due to the emergence of romantic attraction, which is a product of both biology (i.e., pubertal maturation) and societal standards. Adolescent dating can be both a positive and negative socializing influence—it can be a source of intimacy, expanded social competency, and…

Despite all that is known about social development in the home and the peer context, there is still much to be learned about the bidirectional influences across these two contexts. The works of Ross Parke and Gary Ladd have illuminated some of the linkages from the home to the peer group. For instance, it is known that secure attachment is associated with peer acceptance and quality friendships, w…

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Honey, there's a difference between RELYING

by --

On it and utilizing a valuable tool in your community... namely people educated in early childhood development.
I'm curious, when you homeschool your kids, which approach do you use? Montessori? Waldorf? Reggio? Traditional?
Oh, that's right! You aren't an educator, just a mom trying to teach her kid some facts, instead of teaching them HOW to learn in a social environment.
That, my darling condescender, would be the difference between you and a real teacher.

Therapists Personal Beliefs vs. Facts, cont..

by Phrend

"[Certain experiences], especially when suffered at an early age, are thought to predispose individuals to later adult impairments, including alcoholism, depression, and an array of psychological as well as physical disorders.
Psychotherapy, oriented toward uncovering the early
antecedent traumas of adult disorders, is predicated on the hypothesis that early life experiences determine the development of an individual throughout adulthood. Most often the effect is found to be negative."
"Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg, a prominent developmental psychologist, reviewed the research on the predictability of adult adaptation and health based on childhood experiences

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Connecting to disconnect?  — Kashmir Reader
Research has proven Children's social development is at risk due to increased social isolation as children playing by themselves; their linguistic intellectual and imagination development is at risk.

Habitat for kids and wildlife  — Surrey Leader
“Council recognizes that playgrounds are very important for children's social development, as it is there they get a chance to play, socialize and meet new friends,” said Delta Mayor Lois.