ERIC Number: ED333998
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Developmental Differences in Young Children's Perceptions of Social Support.
Wenz-Gross, Melodie; Schneider-Rosen, Karen
Differences in 4- and 6-year-old children's perceptions of their inner social circle, their major sources of emotional and problem solving support, their reasons for choosing a particular source of support, and the types of behaviors they view as supportive in various stressful situations were studied. Mother, father, siblings, grandparents, teachers, other adults outside the household, and peers at school and in the neighborhood were investigated as sources of support. A total of 24 children 4 years of age and 29 public school students 6 years of age were asked to think of all the people they knew at home, in the neighborhood, and at school, and any relatives or friends who lived far away. They were then asked to name the people who were "very special" to them. Hypothetical stories about stressful or problematic situations common to young children were then presented. In each, subjects were asked who would help them feel better by providing emotional support, or help them solve the problem by providing problem solving support. They were also asked why they would turn to each individual and what that person would do to help. Dolls were used as concrete props children could manipulate and speak through. Analysis of variance showed that 6-year-olds and girls named more special others than did 4-year-olds and boys. For support, parents and peers figured most prominently at both ages. Results suggest that peers are perceived as a significant source of support for children, even when they are as young as 4 years of age. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).