ERIC Number: EJ781974
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Studying the Individual within the Peer Context: Are We on Target?
Farmer, Thomas W.
New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, n118 p101-108 Win 2007
This volume is an eclectic group of chapters that use vastly different methodologies, focus on distinct content areas, and examine diverse conceptual issues. Yet, the five studies on social network presented in this article share a common center as each is aimed at elucidating its structural features and their contributions to development. In this article, the author provides a brief overview of these studies and emphasizes their methodological and conceptual contributions. The overview of the contributions of these chapters highlights the complexities of the methodologies that have been developed to examine ontogeny within the peer system. Although researchers have made tremendous progress in terms of assessing network structures while maintaining a focus on individual development, it seems there is much work ahead until they are able to fully elucidate processes and mechanisms that link individual adaptation to peer group structures and broader classroom and school social systems. The author believes that some of the limitations in this area have grown from methodological and theoretical expediency. The author concludes with a discussion of how this article may help address areas that have not been adequately explored with prior methodologies and theoretical frameworks.
Descriptors: Social Systems, Peer Relationship, Peer Groups, Social Networks, Research Methodology, Individual Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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