The rates at which 56 preschoolers dispensed positive and negative behaviors toward peers were recorded during classroom free play. The Borke Empathy Scale and the Preschool Interpersonal Problem-Solving Test were administered to the children. The children's mothers and fathers were asked to complete the Iowa Parenting Inventory. Analyses focused on the association between parental modes of functioning and children's peer-group behaviors, and on the association between peer-group behavior and interpersonal awareness and interpersonal problem-solving ability. The analyses indicated that maternal involvement and reasoning guidance and paternal reasoning guidance were significant predictors of children's positive behaviors directed at peers. Maternal reasoning guidance showed an inverse relationship with negative behaviors directed at peers. Interpersonal awareness, but not problem-solving ability, was an effective predictor of behavior with peers. The data reflect the need to examine peer-group social competence from a multifaceted perspective. Implications of the findings for the development of intervention strategies and parent-teacher relations are suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology