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decorative star graphic  The School Years
Psychosocial Development
- The Peer Group -

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Ψ  Perhaps the most influential system for developing the self-concept is the peer group.

Ψ  The "Culture of Children" is another name / label for the peer group.

•  The "culture of children" may include deviancy traning  when children show each other how to avoid adult restrictions. Some consequences of this are harmless, others are not.
•  A peer group typically has special norms, vocabulary, rituals, & rules of behavior that flourish without the approval, or even the knowledge of adults.
•  Many of the norms & rules of a peer group implicitly encourage independence & some even demand "distance" from adults.
•  Friendship is valued over acceptance by the entire peer group.
•  Signpost: Having a best friend who is not the same age or sex correlates with being rejected or ignored & being unhappy.

The Rejected Child

Ψ  Aggressive-rejected children are actively rejected by their peer group because of their aggressive confrontational behavior. They
        Ψ  remain oblivious to their lack of acceptance.
         Ψ  overestimate their social competence.
          Ψ  are implosive, immature, & likely to misinterpret social situations.
Ψ  Withdrawn-rejected children are actively rejected by their peer group because of their withdrawn, anxious behavior. Most are aware of their social isolation. Their low self-esteem
        Ψ  reduces academic achievement.
         Ψ  disrupts family relationships.
          Ψ  make then vulnerable to bullying.
Ψ  Well-liked children assume social slights are usually accidental & not intended for harm. They seek compromise when dealing with social problems.


Ψ   Bullying occurs more frequently among boys than girls. Teenage boys are much more likely to bully others and to be the targets of bullies. While both boys & girls say others bully them by making fun of the way they look or talk, boys are more likely to report being hit, slapped, or pushed. Teenage girls are more often the targets of rumors & sexual comments.

     Bullying is the repeated, systematic effort to inflict harm through
        Ψ  physical attack.
         Ψ  verbal attack.
          Ψ  social attack (exclusion - public mocking).
Ψ   Bullying was once (wrongly) thought to be an unpleasant but normal part of a child's life.
Ψ   Every country has bullies & bullying seems to be all pervasive in middle childhood.
        Ψ  Bullied children are anxious, depressed & underachieving.
         Ψ  Bullied children have damaged self-esteem.
          Ψ  Bullies often have popularity & school success.
           Ψ  Bullies often become more hostile, challenging, & in trouble.

Ψ   Bullying is often a warning sign that children and teens are heading for trouble & are at risk for serious violence. Teens (particularly boys) who bully are more likely to engage in other antisocial/delinquent behavior (e.g., vandalism, shoplifting, truancy, & drug use) into adulthood. They are four times more likely than nonbullies to be convicted of crimes by age 24, with 60 percent of bullies having at least one criminal conviction.

Lifespan Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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