Positive Influence of Peer and Parent Interaction on Social Cognition Development During Infancy to Adolescence Term Paper

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Positive Influence of Peer and Parent Interaction on Social-Cognition Development during Infancy to Adolescence


Early Childhood

Middle Childhood


The nature and characteristics evidently expresses the man as a social animal, which signifies that interaction with others is one of the primary elements during the entire cycle of the life. In other words, the process of interaction with parents, peers and others in the society initiating from infancy to adulthood is the most substantial aspect that usually leads to the development of the individual in either positive or negative manner (Galotti, 2010).

Social cognition particularly lays key emphasis on how people store, process and employ information concerning to other people and social situations, which leads to how one can think, feel, and interact with the world and its people around them. Concerning this aspect, one cannot overlook the perspective that the social cognition developmental phase of the individual is characterized by multiple forces that include biological, parental, peer, and various other factors (Galotti, 2010).

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On an overall basis, it has come to notice that an individual during his/her infancy period interacts primarily with his/her parents and family members. However, the frequency of interaction expands to peers (usually of same age) during the childhood period, despite the fact that parental support is vital at the same time. While, in the teenage years or adolescence, the core focus of interactions envelopes around peers and may even give rise to romantic relationships. This undoubtedly indicates that peer and parent interaction plays a vital and crucial role in the development of the social cognition (Galotti, 2010).

Term Paper on Positive Influence of Peer and Parent Interaction on Social Cognition Development During Infancy to Adolescence Assignment

The early positive nurture (that typically depicts the interaction of parent and child with warmness, kindness, respect, love and so forth) during the relationship with children have moreover resulted in escalated self-esteem, mental health, and social skills amongst the children. Moreover, the constructive emotional experiences of peer and parent with children stimulate structural growth, which eventually expand the social cognitive capacities of the developing child. Therefore, it can be well stated that early interactions and positive experiences of children with peers and parents shapes the social cognitive development of the child and makes him/her less vulnerable to unconstructive behaviors or attitudes (Galotti, 2010).

In this regard, the thesis statement for this paper is "parent and peer social interaction positively influences social-cognition development during infancy to adolescence."

Section 2: Infancy

Parents and their direct relationship with children play a predominant influencing role on the growing child beginning from his birth through his adolescence period. While on the other hand, the peers influence and captivate the social cognition development of the child from early childhood onwards. The period of infancy is usually from 0-2 years, where the behaviors and interaction with parents usually shape the social cognitive skills amongst the infants. Moreover, the parenting styles and care giving by parents also enhance the developmental skills of social cognition (Williams, Mastergeorge & Ontai, 2010).

While on the other hand, according to recent studies, it has come to surface that establishing positive peer relationships has also become one of the principal aspects in the children's social cognitive development, which is also associated to a range of diverse outcomes and life skills on long-term basis. These early influences are likely to put forth the influence in later stages of life of a child by means of development of social cognitions and other skills that can enhance the self-esteem of the child and make him/her visibly representative of the social world (Williams, Mastergeorge & Ontai, 2010).

In this regard, extensive studies have been carried out demonstrating the fact that child care providers are now directing the young infants with paths and guidelines so that the young infants can have their early social experiences with peers during this period. According to the studies, the infancy period has become the integral and preliminary phase of life from which the social competence with peers is initiating to develop. The practices with peer interaction are being exercised with the infants so that they can develop the learning of social cognitive skills (Williams, Mastergeorge & Ontai, 2010).

Section 3: Early Childhood

Early childhood is the second stage of life that extends from infancy period to about 6 years, which is also known as the pre-school years. During this stage, the young child's awareness about the skills is increasing and the child's identity is usually linked with the ability to feel. A wide range of emotions and cognitive skills are developed during early childhood. However, the positive peer and parent interaction during this stage is equally important in comparison to the other stages of life from infancy to adolescence (Bradley, Corwyn, Burchinal, McAdoo & Coll, 2001).

From one of the experimental studies, the facts have come to the forefront that the entire atmosphere of home that includes maternal responsiveness, parent interaction, learning stimulation and so forth had a deep connectivity to the developmental outcomes of children (such as social cognitive development). This wide ranging study included a vast age group (from birth to 13 years) of children in order to study the relationship between parent interaction and social cognition development (Bradley, Corwyn, Burchinal, McAdoo & Coll, 2001).

The outcomes of the study claimed that warmth, kind and strong positive interaction of parents facilitates the children to develop strong individual values with effective social cognition that helps them to make healthy decisions in later stages of life. Moreover, it has also come to notice that motor skills development and vocabulary development was also witnessed as enhancing amongst the pre-school children who had more Positive Influence of the parent interaction. The assessment of the relationship was conducted with a diverse range of cultures that incorporate poor as well as privileged people belonging to European-American, African-American, and Hispanic-American families (Bradley, Corwyn, Burchinal, McAdoo & Coll, 2001).

The results section that provided with the most consistent data on the relationship was between the parental responsiveness and their positive influence of interaction with the social cognitive developmental status. In fact the stronger influence of parent interaction was found more during this stage as compared to adolescence period (Bradley, Corwyn, Burchinal, McAdoo & Coll, 2001).

Section 4: Middle Childhood

The middle childhood period is usually from 6 to 11 years, where the children tend to spend most of their times with peers, particularly of similar age. Even though the studies in general point out that interaction between peers begin during the infancy period through the exchange of smiles and vocalizations, however, the interactions with peers turn out to be progressively more complex, as they mature and move on to their middle childhood phase of life.

During this phase, the children integrate the peer behaviors with their social cognition structures that were formed with parents' interaction. In this fashion, the peers and parents interaction models interrelate with one another, which influences the children social cognition development. The empirical studies have noticeably brought the fact to surface that the children (ranging from 6 to 11 years) who are securely attached or have positive influence of peer and parent interaction habitually exhibit higher social cognition development, achieve high performance academically, higher level of self-esteem and confidence and lower levels of psychological distress (Ma & Huebner, 2008).

From the wide ranging study carried out with the students in grades 4 to 8, it has evidently appeared that positive influence of parent as well as peer interactions and their strong relationships profoundly contribute to social cognition development, which ultimately leads to life satisfaction. In addition, the study found out that parental trust is the most imperative and pivotal aspect that creates a positive influence as well as strong attachment with the children that enhances the social cognition development (Ma & Huebner, 2008).

One of the interesting aspects has come to notice that children throughout their childhood to adolescence period are more influenced and attached to their mothers, which begets to high social cognition development. In this manner, the parental and peer influence in the middle childhood period facilitates the social cognition development to a great extent (Ma & Huebner, 2008).

Section 5: Adolescence

The interlude of adolescence (which represents the age group from 11 to 18 years) is normally characterized as a developmental period, which is typically reflected by rapid and substantial changes in attachment behaviors. Moreover, it is the transition phase from childhood to adulthood. The peer interactions specifically with the opposite sex are the most common characteristics with increased intensity during adolescence, which are normally uncommon or occasional in childhood period (Greenberg, Siegel & Leitch, 1983).

Since this phase increases the desire for autonomy, thus it is imperative to obtain a balance between the autonomy and connectivity to the parents or peers. The social cognitive development is profoundly dependent upon the peer and parent interaction and is immensely affected with parenting styles (degree of attachment to parents) and peer relations. In addition, the study visibly provided evidences that the high quality of attachment of adolescence to parents exhibited increased social cognitive development amongst the adolescence. The healthy peer… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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