Advertisement

Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 2037–2048 | Cite as

Children’s Narrative Representations of Peer Experiences in Cultural Contexts: The Relations to Psychological Adjustment

  • Qingfang SongEmail author
  • Jessie Bee Kim Koh
  • Qi Wang
Original Paper
  • 174 Downloads

Abstract

This study examined children’s narrative representations of peer experiences in cultural contexts and its concurrent and long-term relations to psychological adjustment. Thirty-four European American and 30 Chinese immigrant 9-10 years old children completed a narrative task to tell stories based on two scenario stems. Children’s peer-related self-views, loneliness, and social anxiety were assessed and again a year later. Peer interaction themes in children’s completed stories, particularly conflict resolution, were associated with European American children’s positive self-views and lower loneliness at both time points, as well as lower social anxiety at time 2. In contrast, conflictual themes exhibited significant association only with Chinese immigrant children’s engaging self-views at time 1. The associations of peer interaction themes to children’s positive self-views emerged to be significant for Chinese immigrant children only at time 2. Furthermore, peer interaction themes did not correlate with Chinese immigrant children’s loneliness and social anxiety at either time point. The results suggested the culture-dependent role of narrative representations of peer experiences in children’s psychological adjustment.

Keywords

Peer relations Narrative representations Psychological adjustment Culture Middle childhood 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Grant BCS-0721171 from the National Science Foundation and a Hatch Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Q.W. We thank members of the Culture & Social Cognition Lab at Cornell University for their assistance. Special thanks go to the children and families who made the study possible.

Author Contributions

Q.S.: collaborated with the design of the study, executed the study, analyzed the data, and prepared the manuscript. J.B.K.K.: collaborated with the designing, execution, data analyses, and writing of the study. Q.W.: designed the study, and collaborated with the execution, data analyses, and writing of the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures in the study were approved by the Cornell University Institutional Review Board.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Anderson, C. A. (1999). Attributional style, depression, and loneliness: a cross-cultural comparison of American and Chinese students. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 482–499.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167299025004007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arce, A. (2017). A test of the perfectionism social disconnection model among ethnic minority youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45, 1181–1193.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-016-0240-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asher, S. R., & Wheeler, V. A. (1985). Children’s loneliness: a comparison of rejected and neglected peer status. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 500–505.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.53.4.500.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Benjamin, W., Schneider, B. H., Greenman, P. S., & Hum, M. (2001). Conflict and childhood friendship in Taiwan and Canada. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 33, 203–211.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0087142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boivin, M., & Hymel, S. (1997). Peer experiences and social self-perceptions: a sequential model. Developmental Psychology, 33, 135–145.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.33.1.135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: vol. 3. Loss: sadness and depression. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  7. Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Caldwell, M. S., Rudolph, K. D., Troop-Gordon, W., & Kim, D. (2004). Reciprocal influences among relational self-views, social disengagement, and peer stress during early adolescence. Child Development, 75, 1140–1154.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00730.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, X., Zappulla, C., Lo Coco, A., Schneider, B., Kaspar, V., de Oliveira, A. M., He, Y., Li, D., Li, B., Bergeron, A., Tse, H. C., & DeSouza, N. (2004). Self-perceptions of competence in Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese and Italian children: relations with social and school adjustment. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28, 129–138.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01650250344000334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cole, D. A., Maxwell, M. A., Dukewich, T. L., & Yosick, R. (2010). Targeted peer victimization and the construction of positive and negative self-cognitions: connections to depressive symptoms in children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39, 421–435.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15374411003691776.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Collins, W. A., Harris, M. L. & Susman, A. (1995). Parenting during middle childhood. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (Vol. 1, pp. 65–89). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  12. Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1994). A review and reformulation of socila information-processing mechanisms in children’s social adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 74–101.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.115.1.74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Efron, B., & Tibshirani, R. J. (1998). An introduction to the bootstrap. New York, NY: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Feagans, L. V., & Farrans, D. C. (1997). Adaptive language inventory (ALI). Chapel Hill, NC: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center.Google Scholar
  15. Fivush, R., Haden, C., & Adam, S. (1995). Structure and coherence of preschoolers’ personal narratives over time: implications for childhood amnesia. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 60, 32–56.  https://doi.org/10.1006/jecp.1995.1030.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. French, D. C., Bae, A., Pidada, S., & Lee, O. (2006). Friendships of Indonesian, South Korean, and U.S. college students. Personal Relationships, 13, 69–81.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2006.00105.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. French, D. C., Chen, X., Chuang, J., Li, M., Chen, H., & Li, D. (2011). Four children ad one toy: Chinese and Canadian children faced with potential conflict over a limited resource. Child Development, 82, 830–841.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01581.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. French, D. C., Pidada, S., Denoma, J., McDonald, K., & Lawton, A. (2005). Reported peer conflicts of children in the United States and Indonesia. Social Development, 14, 458–472.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2005.00311.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. French, D. C., Pidada, S., & Victor, A. (2005). Friendships of Indonesian and United States youth. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 29, 304–313.  https://doi.org/10.1177/01650250544000080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. García-López, L., Olivares, J., Hidalgo, M. D., Beidel, D. C., & Turner, S. M. (2001). Psychometric properties of the social phobia and anxiety inventory, the social anxiety scale for adolescents, the fear of negative evaluation scale, and the social avoidance and distress scale in an adolescent Spanish-speaking sample. Journal of Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment, 23, 51–59.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011043607878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Green, J., Stanley, C., Smith, V., & Goldwyn, R. (2000). A new method of evaluating attachment representations in young school-age children: the Manchester child attachment story task. Attachment & Human Development, 2, 48–70.  https://doi.org/10.1080/146167300361318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holmberg, J., Robinson, J. L., Corbitt-Price, J., & Wiener, P. (2007). Using narratives to assess competencies and risks in young children: experiences with high risk and normal populations. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28, 647–666.  https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.20158.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Hymel, S., Franke, S., & Freigang, R. (1985). Peer relationships and their dysfunction: considering the child’s perspective. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 3, 405–415.  https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.1985.3.4.405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Johnson, H. D., Lavoie, J. C., Spenceri, M. C., & Mahoney-Wernli, M. A. (2001). Peer conflict aoivdance: associations with loneliness, social anxiety, and social avoidance. Psychological Reports, 88, 227–235.  https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.2001.88.1.227.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Keller, A., Ford, L. H., & Meacham, J. A. (1978). Dimensions of self-concept in preschool children. Developmental Psychology, 14, 483–489.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.14.5.483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kingery, J. N., Erdley, C. A., & Marshall, K. C. (2011). Peer acceptance and friendship as predictors of early adolescents’ adjustment across the middle school transition. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 57, 215–243.  https://doi.org/10.1353/mpq.2011.0012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kristen, J., David, C., & Repper, K. (2007). Self-enhancement of peer acceptance: implications for children’s self-worth and interpersonal functioning. Social Development, 16, 24–44.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00370.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kochenderfer, B. J., & Ladd, G. W. (1996). Peer victimization: cause or consequence of school maladjustment? Child Development, 67, 1305–1317.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01797.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kochenderfer-Ladd, B. (2004). Peer victimization: the role of emotions in adaptive and maladaptive coping. Social Development, 13, 329–349.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2004.00271.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. La Greca, A. M., & Lopez, N. (1998). Social anxiety among adolescents: linkages with peer relations and friendships. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26, 83–94.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022684520514.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Ladd, G. (2005). Children’s peer relations and social competence: a century of progress. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Ladd, G. W., & Troop-Gordon, W. (2003). The role of chronic peer difficulties in the development of children’s psychological adjustment problems. Child Development, 74, 1344–1367.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00611.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Laible, D., Carlo, G., Torquati, J., & Ontai, L. (2004). Children’s perceptions of family relationships as assessed in a doll story completion tasks: links to parenting, social competence, and externalizing behavior. Social Development, 13, 551–569.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2004.00283.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Laursen, B., & Collins, W. A. (1994). Interpersonal conflict during adolescence. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 197–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Laursen, B., Finkelstein, B. D., & Betts, N. T. (2001). A developmental meta-analysis of peer conflict resolution. Developmental Review, 21, 423–449.  https://doi.org/10.1006/drev.2000.0531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Leong, F. T. L. (1986). Counseling and psychotherapy with Asian Americans: review of the literature. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 33, 196–206.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.33.2.196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Liu, J., Li, D., Purwono, U., Chen, X., & French, D. C. (2015). Loneliness of Indonesian and Chinese adolescents as predicted by relationships with friends and parents. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 61, 362–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Markus, H., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 244–253.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McAdams, D. P. (2013). The psychological self as actor, agent, and author. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 272–295.  https://doi.org/10.1177/17456912464657.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Pals, J. L. (2007). Selves creating stories creating selves: a process model of self-development. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 262–278.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868307301034.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller, P. J., Fung, H. & Koven, M. (2007). Narrative reverberations: how participation in narrative practices co-creates persons and cultures. In S. Kirayama, D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 595–614). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  42. Nelson, K. (1981). Social cognition in a script framework. In J. Flavell, L. Ross (Eds.), Social cognitive development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Nelson, K., & Fivush, R. (2004). The emergence of autobiographical memory: a social cultural developmental theory. Psychological Review, 111, 486–511.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-296X.111.2.486.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Nishikawa, S., Norlander, T., Fransson, P., & Sunborn, E. (2007). A cross-cultural validation of adolescent self-concept in two cultures: Japan and Sweden. Social Behavior and Personality, 35, 269–286.  https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.2.269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Norasakkunkit, V., & Kalick, S. M. (2002). Culture, ethnicity, and emotional distress measures: the role of self-construal and self-enhancement. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33, 56–70.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022102033001004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Okazaki, S. (1997). Sources of ethnic differences between Asian American and White American college students on measures of depression and social anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 52–60.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.106.1.52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Oppenheim, D. (2006). Child, parent, and parent-child emtoion narratives: implications for developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 18, 771–790.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S095457940606038X.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Parker, J. G., & Asher, S. R. (1993). Friendship and friendship quality in middle childhood: links with peer group acceptance and feelings of loneliness and social dissatisfaction. Developmental Psychology, 29, 611–621.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.29.4.611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Parker, J. G., Rubin, K. H., Erath, S. A., Wojslawowicz, J. C. & Buskirk, A. A. (2006). Peer relationships, child development, and adjustment: a developmental psychopathology perspective. In D. Cicchetti, D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: theory and method. (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 419–493). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  50. Pass, L., Arteche, A., Cooper, P., Creswell, & Murray, L. (2012). Doll play narratives about starting school in children of socially anxious mothers, and their relation to subsequent child school-based anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 1375–1384.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-012-9645-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Prinstein, M. J., & Greca, A. M. (2002). Peer crowd affiliation and internalizing distress in childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal follow-back study. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 12, 325–351.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1532-7795.00036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reese, E., Myftari, E., McAnally, H. M., Chen, Y., Neha, T., Wang, Q., Jack, F., & Robertson, S. (2016). Telling the tale and living well: adolescent narrative identity, personality traits, and well-being across cultures. Child Development, 88, 612–628.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12618.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Rhee, S., Chang, J., & Rhee, H. (2003). Acculturation, communication patterns, and self-esteem among Asian and Caucasian American adolescents. Adolescence, 38, 749–768.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Rothbaum, F., Pott, M., Azama, H., Miyake, K., & Weisz, J. (2000). The development of close relationships in Japan and the United States: paths of symbiotic harmony and generative tension. Child Development, 71, 1121–1142.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00214.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Sedikides, C., Gaertner, L., & Toguchi, Y. (2003). Pancultural self-enhancement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 60–79.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.1.60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Shields, A., Ryan, R. M., & Cicchetti, D. (2001). Narrative representations of caregivers and emotion dysregulation as predictors of maltreated children’s rejection by peers. Developmental Psychology, 37, 321–337.  https://doi.org/10.1037///0012-1649.37.3.321.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Solomon, J., & George, C. (1999). The development of attachment in separated and divorced families: effects of overnight visitation, parent, and couple variables. Attachment and Human Development, 1, 2–33.  https://doi.org/10.1080/146163739900134011.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Sroufe, L. A. & Fleeson, J. (1986). Attachment and the construction of relationships. In W. Hartup, Z. Rubin (Eds.), Relationships and development (pp. 51–71). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  59. Stigler, J. W., Smith, S., & Mao, L. (1985). The self-perception of competence by Chinese children. Child Development, 56, 1259–1270.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1130241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Storch, E. A., & Ledley, D. R. (2005). Peer victimization and psychosocial adjustment in children: current knowledge and future directions. Clinical Pediatrics, 44, 29–38.  https://doi.org/10.1177/000992280504400103.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2000). Using multivariate statistics. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  62. Toth, S. L., Cicchetti, D., MacFie, J., Maughan, A., & Vanmeenen, K. (2000). Narrative representations of caregivers and self in maltreated pre-schoolers. Attachment & Human Development, 2, 271–305.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14616730010000849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Triandis, H. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  64. Vitaro, F., Boivin, M. & Bukowski, W. M. (2011). The role of friendship in child and adolescent psychosocial development. In K. H. Rubin, W. M. Bukowski, B. Laursen (Eds.), Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups (pp. 568–585). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  65. Wang, Q. (2004). The emergence of cultural self-constructs: autobiographical memory and self-description in European American and Chinese children. Developmental Psychology, 40, 3–15.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.40.1.3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Wang, Q. (2006). Culture and the development of self-knowledge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(4), 182–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wang, Q. (2013). The autobiographical self in time and culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wang, Q. (2014). The cultured self and remembering. In P. J. Bauer & R. Fivush (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell handbook on the development of children’s memory (pp. 605–625). New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  69. Wang, Q., Koh, J. B. K., Song, Q., & Hou, Y. (2015). Knowledge of memory functions in European and Asian American adults and children: the relation to autobiographical memory. Memory, 23, 25–38.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2014.930495.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Wang, Q., & Leichtman, M. D. (2000). Same beginnings, different stories: a comparison of American and Chinese children’s narratives. Child Development, 71(5), 1329–1346.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00231.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Wang, Q., Shao, Y., & Li, Y. J. (2010). “My way or mom’s way?” The bilingual and bicultural self in Hong Kong Chinese children and adolescents. Child Development, 81(2), 555–567.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01415.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Warren, S. L., Emde, R. N., & Sroufe, L. A. (2000). Internal representations: predicting anxiety from children’s play narratives. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 100–107.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200001000-00022.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Wastlund, E., Norlander, T., & Archer, T. (2001). Exploring cross-cultural differences in self-concept: a meta-analysis of the self-description questionnaire-1. Cross-Cultural Research, 35, 280–302.  https://doi.org/10.1177/106939710103500302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Woike, B. A. (1994). The use of differentiation and integration proceses: empirical studies of “separate” and “connected” ways of thinking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 142–150.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.67.1.142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Woike, B. A., & Polo, M. (2001). Motive-related memories: content, structure, and affect. Journal of Personality, 69, 391–415.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-6494.00150.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Woolgar, M. (2000). Projective doll play methodologies for preschool children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 4, 126–134.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-3588.00263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Zahn-Waxler, C., Cole, P. M., Richardson, D. T., Friedman, R. J., Michel, M. K., & Belouad, F. (1994). Social problem solving in disruptive preschool children: Reactions to hypothetical situations of conflict and distress. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 40, 98–119.Google Scholar
  78. Zahn-Waxler, C., Friedman, R. J., Cole, P. M., Mizata, I., & Hiruma, N. (1996). Japanese and United States preschool children’s responses to conflict and distress. Child Development, 67, 2462–2477.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01868.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Zahn-Waxler, C., Park, J., Usher, B., Belouad, F., Cole, P., & Gruber, R. (2008). Young children’s representations of conflict and distress: a longitudinal study of boys and girls with disruptive behavior problems. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 99–119.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579408000059.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Human SciencesWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations