The social worlds of childhood

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Discusses both intrasystem dynamics in the socialization of the child and intersystem dependencies. Childhood socialization occurs in the form of reciprocal causalities within conjunctive social systems. The parent-child system, especially mother-child relations, produces an affective and instrumental base from which the young child can explore the wider social world without undue stress. Exploration brings the child into contact with other children and results in the acquisition of unique attitudes and affects. In addition, parents “manage” the social lives of their children directly, thereby extending the child's contacts with other children. In these ways, the family system is linked conjunctively to peer relations in the growth of the social competence. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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