Peer group

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Early childhood peers engaged in parallel play

A peer group is a group of people who are equal in some way. Those in a peer group have the same status and are about the same age. They often interact with the group as a whole.[1] Members of a peer group often have similar interests and backgrounds.[2]

Developmental psychology[change | edit source]

Developmental psychologists, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, and Harry Stack Sullivan, argued that peer relationships are important in a person's development, and teach about equality, reciprocity, cooperation, and intimacy. Modern research also shows that social and emotional gains are indeed provided by peer interaction.[3]

Judith Rich Harris, in The Nurture Assumption, argues that an individual's peer group significantly influences their intellectual and personal development. Several long-term studies also claim that peer groups improve school work[4][5][6].

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. "Peer group definition". encarta.msn.com. http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861724592/peer_group.html. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  2. Wolf, Sun. (2008). Peer groups: expanding our study of small group communication. Thousand oaks,CA: Sage publications, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4129-2686-7
  3. Siegler, Robert (2006). How Children Develop, Exploring Child Develop Student Media Tool Kit & Scientific American Reader to Accompany How Children Develop. New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN 0716761130
  4. Kindermann, Thomas A (1993). Natural peer groups as contexts for individual development: The case of children's motivation in school.. 29(6). pp. 970–977. http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiLanding&uid=1994-17018-001.
  5. Sacerdote, Bruce (2001). Peer Effects With Random Assignment: Results For Dartmouth Roommates. http://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/qjecon/v116y2001i2p681-704.html.
  6. Robertson, Donald; Symons, James (2003). Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment. 70. pp. 31–53. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=388214.