Family-Peer Relationships: Modes of Linkage

Family-Peer Relationships: Modes of Linkage

Family-Peer Relationships: Modes of Linkage

Family-Peer Relationships: Modes of Linkage


This volume provides an up-to-date overview of recent research concerning the links between family and peer systems. Considerable work in the past has focused on family issues or peer relationships, but these systems have typically been considered separately. This volume bridges the gap across these two important socialization contexts and provides insights into the processes that account for the links across the systems -- the ways in which the relationships between these systems shift across development. In addition, the variations in the links between family and peers are illustrated by cross-cultural work, studies of abused children, and research on the impact of maternal depression. In short, the volume provides not only a convenient overview of recent progress but lays out an agenda for future research.


Gary W. Ladd

University of Illinois

Children's experiences within the family and the peer group have occupied a position of central importance in recent research on human development. During the past two decades, important advances have been made within both fields of inquiry. For example, recent studies of family processes and parenting have produced important findings concerning the impact of adult-child relations on child socialization and development. In the field of peer relations, researchers have begun to achieve a better understanding of how agemates influence children's personalities, social behaviors, and cognitions.

Progress in research on family and peer relations has also brought about an interest in the relations or linkages between the two domains. Previously, researchers interested in family relations have studied children's peer relations primarily as a means of indexing the putative effects of targeted family processes or alterations (e.g., fathering, divorce, authoritarian vs. permissive parenting). However, more recently, researchers interested in families have broadened the scope of their theories to include the interface between family and peer relations. In particular, they have become interested in understanding how families influence children's peer relations and competence, and they have begun to search for the mechanisms that may be responsible for such effects.

Similar developments can be observed in past research on children's peer relations. In early studies, researchers attempted to describe the types of relationships children formed with peers and the ways in which these . . .

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