Children's evaluations of peer group entry and limited resource situations


Children (ages 8 and 11) were studied as evaluators of peer group entry and limited resources. They evaluated two focal peers portrayed as either best friends, acquaintances, or enemies, in terms of attributions of intentions and behavior responses. Results indicated that children's evaluations were influenced by the social relationship between peers (best friends and acquaintances, positive; enemies, negative). Older children evaluated peers more positively than did younger children for limited resources conflicts. Further, all children evaluated the focal peer's intentions during peer entry more negatively than intentions during limited resources and evaluated peer behavior responses during limited resources more positively than behavior responses during peer entry. Findings are discussed in terms of previous research on social perception and implications for future research investigating the social contexts that influence children's evaluations of peers.

Publication Title

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

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