Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Book Reviews -- Young Children's Close Relationships: Beyond Attachment (Volume 4) by Judy Dunn

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Book Reviews -- Young Children's Close Relationships: Beyond Attachment (Volume 4) by Judy Dunn

Article excerpt

This book is the fourth volume in a series on individual differences and development. The book has three underlying themes that are examined within the context of children's relationships with their parents, siblings, and friends. The first theme is that there are salient influences on children's developing relationships that extend beyond the direct interaction between parent and child, a focus that has dominated the literature until recently. A second theme is the necessity of considering the significance of the child's social understanding, perceptions, and communications concerning self and other in the formation of relationships. A third theme pertains to individual differences in the characteristics of children that make major contributions to their relationships, among them temperament, self-confidence, and intellectual curiosity. Judy Dunn argues for a differentiated view of relationships in early childhood, one that moves away from simply viewing the child as competent or incompetent, and instead considers the complex confluence of the above factors in understanding children's close relationships.

Children's relationships with parents, siblings, and friends are each described relative to factors that would be expected to exert an influence developmentally. Utilizing data from three longitudinal studies, Dunn examines possible systematic links among children's relationships within the family and outside the family. Although interrelationship coherence might be predicted by attachment theory, interestingly, children's relationships with their parents, siblings, and friends appear to be more different than similar. …

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