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Self-Esteem and Friendship

Consequence of High and Low Self-Esteem

  • High self-esteem – positive outcomes
  • Low self-esteem – negative outcomes

Bee - summarises effects of high self-esteem on children:

  • Higher academic ability
  • Feelings of control over own achievements and failures
  • More popular with peers
  • More positive relationships with parents
  • Know who they are and what they want to be
  • Psychologically more healthy – less likely to be depressed

Development of Friendship

  • Flanagan – ‘An Emotional relationship which includes elements of mutual trust, assistance, respect, understanding and intimacy.’
  • Erwin – children’s friendships have number of important factors:
    • Develop interactional and cognitive skills
    • Route to intimacy
    • Exchanging knowledge
    • Important emotional buffer

Ages Related Change in Friendship

  • 2 year old – preference for particular playmate
  • 4 year old – preferred friend
  • 7 year old – reported in ‘feeling close’ to friends
  • 7/10 year old – self-disclose to parents
  • 15 year old – self-disclose to friends

Understanding of friendship seems to change with age. This can be explained through EGOCENTRISM and an increase in the ability to take the perspective of a different person

Damon – assess age-related difference in understanding of friends

  • Asked children questions about friends
  • Damon proposed three levels of understanding:
    • Under 7 – egocentric so has feelings of likes and dislikes, friends just people with whom child spends time, friends are formed and dissolved
    • 8-11 years – friendships based on shared mutual interests with trust and responsiveness to others’ needs
    • 12 upwards – friendships are deep enduring relationships, with mutual understanding and sharing of intimacies.

Selman – cognitive representation of friendships investigated:

  • Presented children with social dilemma
  • Story followed by questions about characters and about friendship
  • Results were categorised in 5 stages about the social understanding
    • Age 3-6: friend as partner in physical interaction
    • Age 5-9: friend as one way assistant to child’s needs
    • Age 7-12: joint relationship with some idea of other person’s needs ‘fair weather co-operation’
    • Age 10-15: intimate relationship, very close
    • Age 12 Upwards: friendship without extreme intensity

Evaluation:

  • Young children may understand friendship, but may not be able to express their feeling. They might not talk about trust and empathy, doesn’t mean they do not appreciate or recognise them
  • Analysis and categorising responses can be subjective, especially when responses are in open-ended form.

Sex Differences

  • Before evidence of boy and girl are developed, children stay together with own sex
  • Girls and boys may prefer difference activities

Experiment: SERBIN

Aim: set out to increase cross-play in 4 year olds

Method: Teachers reinforced cross-play verbally. The amount of time children played with the opposite sex was recorded. The teacher then stopped reinforcing it after two weeks; time spent was then again recorded.

Results: Cross-play increased from 5% to 20%. Once reinforcement stopped, cross-play stopped at 5%

Conclusion: Possible to increase cross-play by selective reinforcement, sex segregation in childhood maybe due to the unintentional reinforcement of same-sex play by parents, teachers, peers.

Popularity and Rejection

Coie and Dodge: Sociometric study

  • Children asked to identify who they like and disliked
  • Five responses of children:
    • Popular children
    • Controversial children
    • Neglected children
    • Rejected children
    • Children prefer to be friends with those who are attractive.
    • Those who are more competent, better at sports, are also more popular.
    • Children prefer friends who live near, similar background, sex, interests

Explanations for Popularity and Rejection

The rejected child is the one who has not had enough care of a single love adult, so cannot base future relationships

HAZAN and SHAVER
Secure Type: similar positive experienced in later relationships
Anxious Resistant/ Anxious Avoidant: more difficult in childhood and adolescent relationships. Scared of getting close to people.


Experiment: DODGE:

Aim: Investigated 5 year old behavior to see a difference between popular and unpopular children.

Method: 5 year olds observed in the playground. Observed to see how a child would try and join in a game between two people. Time watching, verbal comments style of approach were recorded
Results:

  • Popular – watched, waited made group-oriented statements and were accepted
  • Neglected – watched but shied away from accepted interaction
  • Rejected – highly active and aggressive, disrupting play and being uncooperative


Consequences of Popularity and Rejection:

COWEN: Negatively rated by peers – suffer variety of psychiatric problems throughout childhood and adolescent and into their adult lives

DUCK: Rejected Children: Behavioral and mental disorders: alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, delinquency

KUPERSMIDT and COIE: Found a link between Sociometric status and negative outcomes: Truancy and being in trouble with police, also being suspended from school.

Evaluation:

  • Determining a cause and effect is difficult
  • Individuals maybe already be rejected by bad behavior
  • SCHAFFER: Aggressive behavior a sign of negative like outcomes than peer rejection.
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