ERIC Number: ED206410
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Parental Social Networks and Child Development.
Homel, R.; Burns, A.
This paper looks at the relationship between parents' social networks and aspects of child development. It has often been suggested that parents' links with kin, neighbors, friends, and local and non-local organizations are likely to have many effects on their children's development. These effects, however, have never been systematically investigated or demonstrated. In the present study, independent interviews were held with 9- to 11-year-old children and their parents living in high, medium, and low social risk areas of Sydney, Australia. The presence and number of parents' regularly seen dependable friends ("that you can call on in a crisis") emerged as a pervasive influence on child outcomes. The children's own social networks; their choice of role models; degree of socialization; happiness with their families; and level of negative emotions were significantly related to this aspect of their parents' lives. On measures of adjustment to school, it was the nature of parents' local friendships that emerged as the main predictor, but dependable friends also had an influence, these two friendship variables being related in a complex way. A separate pattern of relationships was found in respect of availability of child care supports, with parental ties to various formal organizations as the salient predictor. The findings suggest leads in many directions, some of which are briefly discussed. (Author/MP)
Descriptors: Child Development, Family Life, Foreign Countries, Friendship, Human Relations, Interviews, Maturity (Individuals), Parents, Peer Relationship, Predictor Variables, Psychological Patterns, Role Models, Self Concept, Social Attitudes, Social Development, Social Differences, Social Life, Socialization, Student Adjustment
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (Sydney); Social Networks
Note: Best copy available. Paper presented at the Conference of the International Society for the Study of Behavior Development (Toronto, Canada, August 17-21, 1981). Sponsored by the Australian Research Grants Commission.