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The development of personal space: Proxemic behavior of children 6 through 16

Abstract

Observations were made of the personal space behaviors of same-sex pairs of children, aged 6–16. Results indicated that children used more space as they grew older and that adult proxemic behaviors were acquired by age 12. While in the younger children no sex differences were present for the proxemic behaviors of distance and body orientation, males were found by early adolescence to stand farther apart and at greater angles than females. The development of personal space and of sex differences in these behaviors is discussed in the context of social learning.

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Correspondence to John R. Aiello.

Additional information

This research was supported in part by NIMH Grant MH-10779-04 and a grant to J. R. A. from the Research Council of Rutgers University.

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Aiello, J.R., De Carlo Aiello, T. The development of personal space: Proxemic behavior of children 6 through 16. Hum Ecol 2, 177–189 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01531420

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Keywords

  • Young Child
  • Environmental Management
  • Social Learning
  • Early Adolescence
  • Body Orientation