ERIC Number: ED307064
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jun-5
Reference Count: N/A
Preschoolers' Differential Behavior towards Best Friends, Associates, and Acquaintances.
Vespo, Jo Ellen
In a study that aimed to distinguish three levels of peer relationship and assess behavior at the three levels, a within-subjects design was used to investigate target preschool children's behavior toward their best friends, associates, and acquaintances in preschool classes. For 6 weeks, 22 target children in 7 classes were observed while they interacted with peers during free play. Comparisons on measures of significant social behaviors revealed that types of relationships were qualitatively distinct. Target children interacted most often wih best friends, and more often with associates than with acquaintances. As level of association increased, self-disclosures increased and disagreements decreased. Fantasy play, a group activity, was engaged in equally often with best friends and associates, but rarely with acquaintances. These results are consistent with the theory that children have a process view of relationships and selectively choose behaviors within the context of preferred relationships that serve to maintain those particular relationships over time. Over 30 references are cited. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Sigma XI, The Scientific Research Society.
Authoring Institution: N/A