Peer Relationships and Middle Childhood Development
The influence chosen is the influence of peers on childhood development from 6 to 12 years old. The reason for this choice is for personal development and education, as I am interested in how relationships are formed in children and the consequences of early relationships. Children spend most of their interaction during their school years with peers. To understand the influence of peers, one is to dissect the influence of each child’s personality.
According to the class notes, “Peer relationships are influenced by the individual (unique skills and temperament); interactions (which vary by social situations and characteristics of the peer); relationships (influenced by characteristics of children involved as well as past and anticipated interactions); and groups (shared beliefs that help define interactions)” (“Week 4: Development in Middle Childhood” 2021).
To begin, the importance of lifelong relationships are important for well-being. Peer relationships start as early as a child starts school. According to the article Friendships in middle childhood: Links to Peer and school identification, and general self‐worth. (Maunder et al., 2018). “Peer relationships were positively related to self-worth, but not identification with peers or school. Best friendship quality moderated the relationship between a number of reciprocated friendship nominations and self-worth. Children with a reciprocated best friend had higher friendship quality and peer identification than others. Where the best friendship was reciprocated, the relationship with identification with peers was mediated via positive friendship quality” (Maunder et al. 2018). The article recognizes the limited research on peer influences on middle childhood development. Nonetheless, it surveyed children from 7 to 11 years of school age to gain information about their understanding of friendship, how they identify with other children in their school as well as how they see themselves.
Another article explains the consequences of peer relationships on child development. The article named “Addressing Well-Being in Early and Middle Childhood( Bennett 2016) explains that .”Children who experience increased levels of stress in early and middle childhood are at higher risk for symptoms of depression and anxiety in adulthood, resulting in an impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A psychoeducational, recreation therapy (RT) intervention aimed to assist in the development of skills that promote a healthy life was created” (Bennet et al. 2016). The study concluded that proper interventions could reduce the impaired quality of life in adulthood, in their health can start as early as childhood. The study referenced an investigation with students in fourth grade.
In conclusion, Middle Child Development is important; through peers, a child will develop more of their personality and temperament. The research indicates that peer interactions are a subject that includes multiple layers. Peer relationships affect multiple areas of life, especially health. To gain the benefits of peer relationships, the first idea would be to teach children how to make friends by managing their emotions and understanding their peer’s emotions. The second strategy is to help young children accept their differences and respect the difference that they see in others. Lastly, the last strategy would be to model positive behaviors as adults when children lack the social skills to interact with their peers.
Bennett, J. R., Negley, S. K., Wells, M. S., & Connolly, P. (2016). Addressing Well-Being in Early and Middle Childhood. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 50(1), 21–32.Retrieved January 1, 2022,
Maunder, R., & Monks, C. P. (2018, October 31). Friendships in middle childhood: Links to peer and school identification, and general self‐worth. British Psychological Society. Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjdp.12268
“Week 4: Development in Middle Childhood” (2021). American Military University. Received December 2020. Course handout. Retrieved January 1, 2022, https://myclassroom.apus.edu/d2l/le/enhancedSequenceViewer/49048?url=https%3A%2F%2Ff54cbe36-23a9-4505-85fe-e251f80ec34d.sequences.api.brightspace.com%2F49048%2Factivity%2F5544948%3Ffilt erOnDatesAndDepth%3D1
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As children move through middle childhood, parental influence is accompanied by a number of outside influences that can shape and impact development during this stage. These outside influences include peers, schools, television/video games, and stress.
Write a summary detailing which outside influence you believe has a significant impact on middle childhood development outside of the home. You should include the following aspects:
- Introduction to your chosen influence and why you chose it.
- Research: Find two current (within the past 5-7 years) research articles that support your belief or refute your belief regarding your chosen influence on development. Summarize each article individually to include the purpose of the research, a brief description of the methodology of the research (do not include specific statistics), and the findings of the research.
- Conclusion: Write a concluding paragraph discussing how your opinion may or may not have changed on the topic based on your research. Also, include in your conclusion two or three strategies for managing this influence.
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