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ERIC Number: ED316823
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Risk of Violence: Peer Conflicts in the Lives of Adolescents.
Opotow, Susan
Although all people experience interpersonal conflicts in their lives, peer conflicts play a particularly important role for adolescents. Undergoing rapid cognitive, physical, and social changes, adolescents' peers assume increasing importance in their lives. The study reported in this paper focused on peer conflict among adolescents in order to examine how factors in a conflict affect one's beliefs about fairness. Subjects, 40 inner-city 7th graders, were interviewed and asked to describe a peer conflict, responding to questions about causes and progression of the conflict, perceptions of their opponent, and their beliefs about fair and unfair behavior. The findings indicated that: (1) conflicts pervaded adolescents' lives, offering opportunities for self-protection, social status, personal growth, interpersonal insight, conflict resolution, and heroic drama; (2) adolescents lacked conflict proficiency, and reacted instinctively; (3) peer conflict for adolescents had a different meaning than for adults, rendering adult intervention intrusive; and (4) one-third of the respondents may have been morally isolated from both peers and adults and may have been at risk for socially irresponsible living. Adults close to adolescents are well situated to offer adolescents a wider and richer moral perspective. Systematic attention to adolescents' peer conflict would not only enrich psychological knowledge of adolescence and counsel productive approaches to establish intergenerational links, but it also has the potential to effect social change. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A