Children’s social behaviors and peer interactions in diverse cultures

Carolyn Pope Edwards, Maria Rosario Tretasco de Guzman, Jill Brown, Asiye Kumru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

24 Scopus citations


Cultural socialization has long interested behavioral and social scientists, but recent advances in theory and methodology have allowed researchers to construct new and more powerful theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing the complex ways in which children interact with their environments during the course of development. Studies of childhood socialization in the classic tradition of cross-cultural research were static in their approach to analyzing underlying processes because of limitations in the theories and methods available at the time they were conducted. Many studies, for example, involved straightforward associations or comparisons of levels of parental socialization pressure (the antecedent condition) with children’s social or cognitive behavior (the consequent condition). In contrast, using new theoretical and methodological tools, researchers today can go beyond testing predictions about how differences in childhood environments may predict group differences in some kind of child characteristic and instead consider dynamic and transactional child-environment relations. For instance, current researchers have employed theoretical frameworks from social-cognitive development, Vygotskian psychology, and cultural psychology to characterize the children and their contexts in reframed ways and to highlight such themes as self-socialization and guided participation in cultural socialization. In this chapter, we address the topic of peer relations in cultural context to elaborate how classic and recent approaches to research can be brought together to construct a set of guiding principles for thinking about the cultural dimensions of children’s socialization by peers. We define peers as nonfamily children who are similar to one another in age and competence level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPeer Relationships in Cultural Context
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780511499739
ISBN (Print)9780521842075
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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