ERIC Number: ED031298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Understanding of Social Interaction.
To investigate children's ability to describe and make inferences about feelings, thoughts, and intentions that occur in interpersonal relationships, 60 middle class girls were divided into three age groups: 6, 9, and 12 years. Each group viewed two sections of a movie portraying episodes of social interaction. After each section, the children gave an account of the episodes in their own words and then answered specific questions. Developmental trends of descriptions appeared in the children's accounts. Wherever there were statistical differences between 6- and 12-year-olds, there were statistical differences between 6- and 9-year-olds. Older children gave more causal explanations. Between ages 6 and 9, shifts occurred in the kinds of explanations offered and inferences of feelings made. When responses to specific questions were scored on a three-point scale of complexity, developmental trends occurred in responses explaining behavior and naming feelings. A content analysis of the children's accounts and responses to specific questions revealed that 6-year-olds tended to mention actions and describe scenes, whereas the older groups reported adult communications and feelings and were better able to answer specific questions on adult motivations. The study suggested that an important transitional phase in understanding social interaction occurs between the ages of 6 and 9. (JS)
Descriptors: Adults, Behavior Patterns, Behavioral Science Research, Child Development, Content Analysis, Females, Film Study, Interaction Process Analysis, Interpersonal Competence, Motivation, Psychological Patterns, Social Development, Social Relations
Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th St., New York, New York 10027 ($3.95)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Teachers College.