Peer Interaction and the Behavioral Development of the Individual Child

  • Willard W. Hartup


Experience with peers is commonly assumed to make numerous contributions to child development. Such experiences are believed to provide a context for sex-role learning, the internalization of moral values, the socialization of aggression, and the development of cognitive skills. The research literature, however, contains relatively little hard data concerning the functional contributions of peer interaction to the development of the individual child. There is little evidence that the give-and-take occurring during peer interaction actually determines the moral structuring that occurs in middle childhood, as Raget (1932) suggested; there is no direct evidence that rough-and-tumble play contributes to the effectiveness with which the human child copes with aggressive affect (Harlow, 1969); and the contributions of peer attachments to social and intellectual development are largely unspecified.


Moral Judgment Social Participation Moral Development Behavioral Development Moral Understanding 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willard W. Hartup
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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