ERIC Number: ED400968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
Children's Interactive Style with Parents, Teachers and Strangers: A Comparative Study across Three Contexts.
Ungerer, J. A.; Harrison, L. J.
Numerous studies have demonstrated predictive links between children's attachment relationships with parents and teachers and their success in the social contexts of child care and school. This body of research underlines the importance of children's ability to establish positive relationships with adults and to effectively use these adults to meet their social and emotional needs. This study used an observational procedure, based on White and Watt's (1973) categories for assessing children's social interactions with adults, to measure the social abilities of 68 2.5-year-old children across social contexts of the home, the child care center, and the "strange situation." Children's social bids were defined as: (1) seeking attention; (2) seeking help; (3) seeking to control; (4) seeking emotional support; (5) initiating play; and (6) offering help. Affectionate and hostile behaviors toward adults were also recorded. The contexts in which children's social interactive behaviors were assessed placed differing social and emotional demands on them. Results led to arguments for hierarchical versus independent models of child-adult relationships, assessing whether the mother-child prototype for social interaction with adults or the differing demands of separate social contexts determines children's social interactive style. The results also have implications for interpreting observational research across different cultural contexts. (Contains 20 references.) (BGC)
Descriptors: Adult Child Relationship, Attachment Behavior, Behavior Development, Caregiver Child Relationship, Context Effect, Early Childhood Education, Emotional Response, Foreign Countries, Interaction, Models, Parent Child Relationship, Social Behavior, Stranger Reactions, Teacher Student Relationship, Toddlers, Young Children
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (14th, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, August 12-16, 1996).