Peer Acceptance In Early Childhood: Links To Socio-Economic Status And Social Competences

Blerta Perolli Shehu

Abstract


Social relationships and peer interactions play an important role in the healthy development of the child, and opportunities for socialization in early childhood present a good opportunity for children to gain the necessary experience and maturity for development of healthy relationships in the future. This study looks at factors associated with, and predictive of, peer acceptance and rejection in early childhood. Participants of the study are 130 children, their parents and teachers.  Sociometric techniques, socio-demographic questionnaire and the Vineland scale for adaptive behavior were used to collect the data. Results indicate that socio-economic factors influence children’s social standing in the group, and higher scores in social and communication skills are positively correlated with peer acceptance. There was also a high correlation between child’s peer acceptance and their level of socialization (r(50) = .640, p = 0.00) and between child’s peer acceptance and their level of development in the field of communication (r(50) = .626, p = 0.00). Although slightly lower than the above-mentioned correlations, a positive correlation exists between child’s peer acceptance and socio-economic status of the family with a correlation of r(50) = .406, p = 0.00. The results of this study have been able to establish that all factors that are assumed to correlate with peer acceptance in early childhood are determinants of a particular importance. Moreover, the results of the regression indicate that the model explained 54.9% of the variance and that the independent variables were a significant predictor of peer acceptance.


Keywords


social skills, social competence, peer acceptance and rejection, preschool institutions.

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