Peer-directed behaviors of 7 infants and 11 toddlers were observed during nursery school free play at the beginning and end of a semester. Both infants and toddlers directed positive behaviors toward their peers more frequently than negative behaviors. At both observation periods toddlers engaged in more distal social behaviors, particularly vocalizing and laughing, than infants. There were many more changes across the semester than there were age group differences in these data. The changes occurred in the physical contact categories. These data and other reports in the literature suggest that proximal contact behaviors may be more affected by time spent with peers and distal social behaviors may be more age-dependent. The limits that measurement methods may place on implications to be drawn from such results as these have been considered.
- contact behavior
- peer-directed behaviors
- proximal behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology