Peer Relations in Children

Ms Fumiko Ishikawa (PhD student, Social and Political Sciences, Sidney Sussex College)

Saturday, 26 June, 1999; 7:30-9:30pm

Seminar room, Darwin College

The talk will consist of three parts.

1. Study 1
Our analyses confirmed prior observations that two-year-olds are more likely to interact in pairs than in small groups of three (Hartup, 1983). At the same time, the capacity for triadic interaction exists, even amongst previously unacquainted toddlers. Nearly a fifth of the episodes of interaction recorded here were actively triadic. Patterns of triadic influence first identified in family relations could be discerned in sequences of interaction between peers. Furthermore, in this study, triadic interaction was more likely to include prosocial behaviour than aggression. Sharing and aggression occurred within triadic episodes at the same rates as they did in episodes overall. This suggests that, in contrast to Hartup's (1983) assertion, triadic interaction is less common but not less competent or prosocial than dyadic interaction. Thus, the important human capacity for small group interaction first emerges in the early years of life.

2. Methodology for Social Behaviour in Children
The author's thesis consists of two different studies. Research concerned with social behavioural observation in children is often criticised for its confusing terminology and lack of consensus in terms of operational definition. The author uses the PICS sale consisting of 30+ orthogonal behavioural categories. This scale would be required substantial revision and reorganisation from the ethological point of view.

3. Whether behaviour is conservation of a particular species or adaptation of the selfish gene
Research initially started off simply for satisfying curiosity. That is why infants behave differently to their fellow infants from which differs what they do to adults. Why does the change of behaviour (if existed) occur. Is behaviour conservation of a particular species or adaptation of the selfish gene? The problem which cannot be solved by the optimal adaptation theory, as for a particular case where one cannot assert the determinant. For example, what determines the factor in the case of object (eg toys) struggles between competitors? Why does prosocial behaviour diminish with age increase?