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Friendship understanding in socially accepted, rejected, and neglected children Bichard, Sandra Lynn 1985

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FRIENDSHIP UNDERSTANDING IN SOCIALLY ACCEPTED, REJECTED, AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN By SANDRA LYNN BICHARD B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1981 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Psychology)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1985 (o)Sandra Lynn Bichard, 1985  In p r e s e n t i n g  this thesis  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  in partial  advanced degree a t  of  B r i t i s h Columbia,  it  freely available  for  that  Library  s h a l l make  for reference  and  study.  I  for extensive copying of  h i s or  be  her  g r a n t e d by  s h a l l not  be  of  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1Y3  of  further this  Columbia  thesis  head o f  this  my  It is thesis  a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  permission.  Department  the  representatives.  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  f i n a n c i a l gain  University  the  f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may understood  the  the  I agree that  agree that permission d e p a r t m e n t o r by  f u l f i l m e n t of  written  Abstract  The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with poor peer relations display a developmental  lag in their conceptions of friendship.  The  social-cognitive level of friendship understanding, as outlined in Selman's Theory of Interpersonal Understanding, was compared in a sample of 31 second-grade and 40 seventh-grade  children who  were identified as being accepted, rejected, or  neglected by peers, according to a peer sociometric nomination  measure.  As  expected, results indicated that conceptions of friendship held by grade 7 children represented higher stages of social-cognitive development than conceptions held by grade 2 children.  Results also indicated there was no difference among accepted,  rejected, and neglected children in their general intellectual abilities, as measured by the Vocabulary and Block Design subtests of the WISC-R. to  experimental  predictions,  when  compared  with  their  However, contrary socially  accepted  classmates, rejected and neglected children did not show a developmental their understanding of friendship. from  normal  lag in  If the social effectiveness of social isolates  school populations is not  limited  by  immature  conceptions  of  interpersonal relations, as has been found in clinic populations, then intervention programs for these children may  need to target other social-cognitive (e.g.,  interpersonal problem solving skills) or behavioral skills (e.g., prosocial behavior) or a f f e c t i v e difficulties (e.g., social anxiety) as primary therapeutic goals.  The  possibility that an interpersonal reasoning enrichment component of a treatment package focusing on one or more of these other aspects of social competence needs to be empirically evaluated.  - ii -  Table of Contents PAGE ABSTRACT  ii  LIST O F T A B L E S  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  vii  INTRODUCTION Overview  1  The  2  Importance of Peer Relationships  Implications and Prevalence  of Social Isolation  3  Assessment of Social Competence  5  Behavioral Observations  6  Teacher Judgements  7  Peer Judgements  8  Relationships Among the Three Methods of Assessment  13  Subgroups of Socially Isolated Children  14  Treatment of Socially Isolated Children  17  The Relationship Between Social Cognition and Social Behavior  20  Selman's Theory of Interpersonal Understanding  23  Purpose of the Study  32  Hypotheses  33  METHOD Overview of Method  35  Subjects  35  Measures  37  Social Competence: Sociometric  - iii -  Nominations  37  Classification and Scoring C r i t e r i a Intellectual A b i l i t y : WISC-R Social Cognition: Interpersonal  Understanding  Scoring Method Interviewers Procedure Project  Approval  Sociometric Nominations Interviews RESULTS Outcome of Sociometric Nominations Distribution  of Status Groups  Relationship Between Status and Status and R a c e  Gender;  Relationship Between Status and  Participation  Primary  Analyses  Relationship Between Grade, Sociometric Status and IQ Relationship Between Friendship and IQ  Understanding  Relationship Between Grade, Sociometric Status and Friendship Understanding Checks on Interviewer  Behavior  Interscorer Reliability Relationship Between Grade, Sociometric Status, and Six Friendship Issues DISCUSSION Major Hypotheses - iv -  Hypothesis 1: Grade and Friendship Understanding  73  Hypothesis 2: Sociometric Status and Friendship Understanding  73  Social Competency and Interpersonal Understanding  79  Interpersonal Understanding and IQ  82  Social Competency and IQ  84  Hypothesis 3: Sociometric Status and Friendship Issues  86  Summary of Major Findings  87  Future Research  90  FOOTNOTES  92  REFERENCES  93  APPENDICES Appendix A :  L e t t e r to Parents and Consent F o r m  101  Appendix B:  Introduction of Project and Sociometric Nomination Exercise to Students  104  Appendix C:  Guidelines for Conducting Friendship Understanding Interview  106  Appendix D:  Interview Instructions for C h i l d  110  Appendix E :  Interview Questions and Probes  - v -  112  L i s t o f Tables PAGE Table 1:  Stages of Friendship  24  Table 2:  Issuses in the Friendship Domain  28  Table 3:  Sociometric Status Classification C r i t e r i a  40  Table 4:  C r i t e r i a for R a r e Like/Disliked and Impact Scores  Table 5:  Breakdown of Parental Consent by Grade and Sociometric Status  55  Table 6:  Group n's by Grade and Sociometric Status  56  Table 7:  Mean Block Design, Vocabulary, and IQ Scores by Grade Sociometric Status  58  Table 8:  A N O V A Summary Tables for Block Design, Vocabulary, and IQ  60  Table 9:  Mean Friendship Understanding Sociometric Status  62  Table 10:  A N O V A Summary Tables for Friendship Understanding and Range of Reasoning  Table 11:  A N O V A Summary Tables for Probes and Positive Reinforcement  65  Table 12:  Intercorrelations between Friendship Understanding Scores ( F U S ) and Friendship Issue Scores  67  Table 13:  Mean Friendship Issue Scores by Grade and Sociometric Status  68  Table 14:  MANOVA  Summary Table F o r Friendship Issue Scores  71  Table 15:  A N O V A Summary Table for Main E f f e c t of Grade on Friendship Issues  72  Scores by Grade and  - vi -  41  64  A cknowledgements  I would like to express my  gratitude to my  advisor, Dr. Lynn Alden, for  her academic expertise and sound advice at each step of the research. I would also like  to thank my  committee  members, Dr. Robert McMahon  and  Dr.  Lawrance Walker, for their encouragement and constructive contributions.  I am very grateful to Pindy Badyal, Mary Peng, Julie Chadwick, and Patty Drobot for their keen interest in the project and for so ably and conscientiously conducting the interviews with the children.  I owe  a great deal to members of my  family whose unwavering support  allowed me to pursue my academic goals. Thank you to my parents, Gordon and T h e l m a Snider, and my mother-in-law, Muriel Bichard, for being so giving and for being such wonderful grandparents to Jenny.  A  very special thank you to  my  sister, Audrey, for stepping in so often to assume my 'homefronf responsibilities as if they were her own.  Most of all I would like to thank my  husband, Don, for his loving support  and constant encouragement which helped me to persist to the end. I share this achievement with him.  - vii -  -1 Introduction  Overview  The purpose of this study was to examine some of the characteristics that may  differentiate socially maladjusted children from their better adjusted peers.  It was  hoped such information would contribute to the efforts of clinicians and  researchers who  are concerned with developing appropriate and e f f e c t i v e inter-  ventions for these children. "Do  The specific question addressed in the study  was,  socially isolated children differ from their peers in their understanding of  friendship?"  It was  reasoned  that such differences could contribute to the  difficulties experienced by these children when interacting with peers. sociometric children who  nomination  procedures  used  to identify elementary  school  were either accepted, rejected, or neglected by their classmates.  Conceptions of friendship held by assessed and  were  Peer  compared.  these three groups of children were then  Selman's (1980) structural developmental  theory of  Interpersonal Understanding provided the model and measure (Selman, 1979) for assessing levels of social cognitive development.  In the past decade, clinicians and researchers have become increasingly concerned about childhood social isolation.  E f f o r t s to better understand  this  problem have lead to numerous investigations focusing on several related topics: the assessment  of children's social competence (see Foster 6c Ritchey, 1979;  Green & Forehand, 1980;  Kane & Lawler, 1978, for reviews), the concurrent and  predictive correlates of social status (e.g., Coie, Dodge, & Gresham, 1982;  Ladd & Oden, 1979;  Peery, 1979;  Coppotelli,  1982;  Rubin & Clark, 1983; Vosk,  - 2 -  Forehand, Parker, & Bigelow, 1977;  Rickard, 1982), and  social-cognitive  Dickens & Perlman, 1981;  the e f f i c a c y of social skill training and ventions (see Conger &  Keane, 1981;  Furman, 1982;  development  (e.g.,  Selman, 1980),  and  social-cognitive problem solving interUrbain &  Kendall,  1980,  for  respective  reviews). The introduction of this paper will provide the reader with an overview of this burgeoning body of literature.  The  following pertinent  topics will  presented: the importance of peer relationships, the implications and of  social isolation, the  be  prevalence  assessment of social isolation, subgroups of socially  isolated children, treatment issues, and the relationship between social cognition and social behavior. A review of Selman's Theory of Interpersonal will then be conception.  Understanding  presented as the theory provided a major impetus in the study's Finally, the  study's  purpose  and  specific hypotheses  will  be  presented.  The Importance of Peer  Relationships  Whereas past research focused primarily occurs within the context of the parent-child  on  social development as it  relationship, current  research is  being focused primarily on social development as it occurs within the context of peer relationships (Kendall & Morison, 1984). Social learning and  developmental  theorists posit that peer interactions play a critical role in a child's social skill and  social-cognitive development.  interactions are  From  thought to facilitate the  a social learning  perspective,  peer  development of social competence.  Research evidence indicates that peers serve as social learning models (Furman, Rahe, &  Hartup, 1979;  social skills, norms, and  O'Connor, 1969;  Oden & Asher, 1977); as teachers of  val ues (Asher & Renshaw, 1981;  Furman, 1984); and  as  - 3 -  social  reinforcers (Hartup,  Glazer,  &  Charlesworth,  1967;  Rubin,  Daniels-  Beirness, & Bream, 1984). Fine (1981) suggests that children's friendships serve three functions that contribute to the development of social interactional skills. First  of  a l l , friendships  are  a  staging  area  management of behaviors (such as aggressive  for exploration  and  and sexual behaviors).  friendships are a training area for learning culturally appropriate dealing with problems.  Thirdly, friendships provide  a context  ultimate Secondly,  methods of within  which  children develop a sense of self through role taking and adopting the perspective of others.  Developmental theorists have also emphasized the importance of peer interactions in social development, cognitive development, and the  interface between the  two,  more recently,  i.e., social-cognitive 1 development.  Piaget  (1932) theorized that peer play fosters reciprocity and socialized thought through compromise and resolution of social conflict. Sullivan (1953) theorized that the development of concepts such as cooperation, mutual respect, and sensitivity emanate through friendships.  interpersonal  Peer interactions are also thought to  facilitate social-cognitive abilities such as moral reasoning (Kohlberg, 1981)  and  perspective-taking  are  (Selman, 1980).  These and  similar theoretical views  supported by empirical studies (e.g., Burns & Brainerd, 1979;  Chandler,  1973)  which have demonstrated that interventions involving peer interaction enhance social-cognitive ability.  Implications and Prevalence of Social Isolation  The  study  of  poor peer  relationships among  youngsters is important  - 4 -  because accumulating  evidence  with  can  social  isolation  be  suggests that concurrent severe,  and  that  the  problems associated  problem  of  isolation is  widespread. Research indicates that social maladjustment in childhood may associated  with  learning and  academic  difficulties  (Bonney,  1971;  Forehand, Beck, & Vosk, 1980), withdrawal from school (Roff, Sells, & 1972;  UTlman,  1957), adolescent  sexual  disorders (Roff  be  Green, Golden,  et al., 1972),  and  substance abuse (Kellam, Brown, Hendricks, & Fleming, 1982) and is predictive of psychological problems in adulthood  (Cowen, Pederson, Babigian, Izzo,  &  Trost, 1973).  Estimates of the proportion of socially isolated children vary considerably from 1% to 3 5 % of the normal population. Kupfer, Detre, and K o r e l (1974) found that 2.5%  of the local school population (16,986 children from primary grades to  high school) were rated by teachers as unusually aggressive; were  rated  as  excessively  shy  and  withdrawn.  2.1% of the children  Moreno  (1934), who  introduced the use of sociometric procedures, reported that 1 5 %  to 3 5 %  first of the  children in kindergarten through eighth grade were isolates. In a sample of 848 third-, f i f t h - , and  eighth-graders, C o i e  et a l . (1982) found that  13%  of  the  children were rejected by peers (based on sociometric nominations) and another 13%  were neglected by peers.  Asher and Renshaw (1981) noted that research  spanning four decades indicates that at least 5 %  to 1 0 %  children are not named as a friend by any classmate.  of elementary school  The  discrepancy  in the  proportion of children identified as social isolates is likely due to two factors: (a) differences in assessment procedures and selection criteria employed across studies (Hops, 1983)  and  (b) variance in isolation that may  age-related developmental changes.  be associated with  -5  -  Assessment of Social Competence  Social behavioral  competence  is generally  observation, teacher  assessed  by  judgements, and  the  peer  following  methods:  judgements.  Before  describing each of these methods and the relationships among them, clarification of some of the terms and constructs used in the literature and in this paper is in order.  There is some confusion concerning conceptual and operational definitions of  terms such as social competence, social skill, and  social isolation.  This  confusion stems in part from researchers using the same or similar terms to refer to related, but distinct concepts. interchangeably with social skill. social  withdrawal.  For  the  construed to consist of two principles or concepts and  F o r example, social competence is used  Social isolation is used interchangeably with  purposes of  components:  this  paper, social  competence is  (a) knowledge of general interaction  (b) a repertoire of specific behaviors or behavioral  sequences that can be used to actualize the more general principles (Asher Renshaw, 1981).  Social skill is construed  to be  &  those specific behavior(s) or  "responses which, within a given situation prove effective, or ... maximize the probability of producing, interactor."  (Foster &  maintaining, or enhancing Ritchey, 1979,  p.626).  positive  effects for the  Thus the construct of social  competence subsumes the construct of social skill.  The  confusion  assessment. populations  Not of  in terms used  surprisingly,  socially  is also directly  researchers  maladjusted  select  children in a  related  and  to methods of  operationally define  variety  of  ways.  These  - 6populations, and the terms used  to describe  them, overlap.  F o r example,  Zimbardo (1982) refers to the shy child (a child who is anxious and uncomfortable with peers); Furman (1982) refers to the socially withdrawn child (high rates of nonsocial play behavior);  and Vosk et a l . (1982) refer to the unpopular child (low  sociometric status). F o r the purposes of this paper, social isolation refers to a general state experienced  by children who have problems interacting with peers.  Social withdrawal refers to a behavior pattern that is thought to be characteristic of one subgroup of isolated children. Thus, the construct of social isolation subsumes the construct of social withdrawal.  Behavior Observation. to specify behaviors functioning.  D i r e c t behavior observation methods are used extensively or skills that comprise adaptive  Behaviors are coded within the context  and maladaptive  social  of naturalistic settings  (typically a classroom), structured situations (a game or task contrived by the investigator), or behavior Naturalistic  observation  analog  situations (role play of a social  is the most  commonly  used strategy  situation).  of the three  approaches (Michelson & Wood, 1980).  D i r e c t behavioral observations  offer a number of advantages (Foster &  Ritchey, 1979). One advantage is that specific, operationally defined (such  as hitting),  rather  than  global  constructs  (such  behaviors  as aggression), are  measured. A s a result, inferences about what data represent are minimized.  A  second advantage is that psychometric properties are largely under the experimenter's control. observational reasonably  data  F o r example, biases that may influence the reliability of and the steps  well understood.  A  required  to minimize  third and compelling  such problems, are  advantage of behavioral  - 7 -  observations  is that behavioral changes provide  a socially valid  measure  of  treatment effects.  However, the value of information derived from behavioral assessment methods is determined by the validity of the behaviors chosen for observation. The  identification  adaptive 1979;  of  socially valid  social functioning has  Furman, 1984).  behaviors  or  skills that are  critical  been a pervasive problem (Foster &  Initially, frequency  of peer interaction was  to  Ritchey, the most  commonly used behavioral index of social competency because of its high face validity. Intuitively, low rates of interaction would seem to indicate poor social adjustment.  However, subsequent research has shown little or no relationship  between rate of interaction and other indices of adjustment. Moreover, rate of interaction fails to capture the essence of complex social interactions.  Con-  sequently, current investigations employing behavioral observation methods are focussing on type of behavior (for example, Rubin & Daniel-Beirness, 1983, code behaviors  according  (positive behaviors  to developmental play categories) or quality of like sharing or helping and  negative  behaviors  behavior  like name-  calling or hitting) rather than quantity of social behavior.  This approach has  been  indices of  fruitful  in identifying  behaviors  that  predict other  social  adjustment and discriminate among groups of children.  Teacher Judgement. Teacher judgements generally take two or ratings and  rankings  (Green &  Forehand, 1980).  number of behavioral statements.  forms:  checklists,  Checklists consist of a  Teachers indicate those  statements which  describe each student. Checklists yield scores on a number of dimensions such as aggressive, withdrawn, prosocial and  anti-social behavior.  The  rating method  - 8requires a teacher to rate each student on a five-point Likert scale according to a global characteristic such as shyness, or according to a specific behavioral criterion such as rate of interaction. The ranking method requires a teacher to rank all students according to a specific criterion.  Teacher assessments are reported to be reliable and valid measures of social competence (Connolly, 1983; Green, Beck, Forehand, & Vosk, 1980). This method of assessment is appealing for two reasons.  First, teachers have the  opportunity to regularly observe a child's social behavior in a number of situations over an extended period of time. Second, teacher observations provide researchers with an efficient and economical measure of social competence. The primary drawback of this method is that like all subjective measures, the data is influenced by personal biases. Unlike data derived from peer judgements, another subjective measure, data derived from teacher observations represent the perceptions of a single individual rather than the collective perception of many individuals.  Peer Judgement.  There are two approaches to peer judgements: sociometric  procedures and procedures classified under the general rubric of peer assessment measures (Asher & Hymel, 1981; Connolly, 1983).  Sociometric procedures are the most  commonly used methods in  identifying socially competent and incompetent children (Foster & Ritchey, 1979). There are two major methods of sociometric assessment: peer nominations and peer ratings. The format and administration of peer nominations vary according to the age of the children and the information desired by the  - 9 investigator.  Children are asked to nominate those children in their group who  satisfy a specific criterion. For example, children may be instructed to "Name someone you like (and don't like) to play with (or be friends with, or work with)." Oral or written nominations are used for elementary children whereas the picture board technique (children indicate their choices by pointing to mounted photographs of playmates) is used for preschoolers (Connolly, 1983). Peer rating procedures require nominators to respond to a sociometric question for every child in the group on a five-point Likert scale.  A three-point scale, anchored by  pictures of facial expressions, is used with preschoolers.  Peer nominations and  peer ratings tap different aspects of social status and are not directly comparable. Ratings define an average level of likeability or acceptance within a group whereas nominations assess interpersonal relationships. That is, a child might be of average acceptability, yet not have any friends. The correlation between peer nominations and peer ratings is .63 (Connolly, 1983). advantages relative to nominations.  Peer ratings offer some  First, the rating score seems to be more  stable, as each child is rated by all peers.  Second, there is some evidence to  suggest that rating scores are more sensitive than nominations to small changes in social status (Asher & Hymel, 1981).  Arguments in favor of the use of these peer sociometric measures include: (a) these measures have been shown to provide a reliable and valid index of current peer relations for preschool and elementary school children (Asher & Hymel, 1981;  Connolly, 1983;  Gottman & Parkhurst, 1980;  Kane & Lawler,  1978), and are sensitive predictors of social functioning in adulthood (Cowen et al., 1983);  (b) sociometric measures provide an evaluation of children's social  functioning from the perspective of the child's peers, rather than from the more  - 10 distant perspective of adults (Green et al., 1980); and (c) sociometric measures are efficient to use in that they can provide information about a large number of children in a short period of time (Hayvren & Hymel, 1984).  Even though sociometric procedures offer these advantages, they present some  problems.  First,  concerned about their use.  researchers,  clinicians, and school  personnel  are  Negative sociometric measures have raised ethical  concerns that having children identify unpopular group members may teach children that saying negative things about others is socially acceptable and/or that the procedures may cause children to view disliked peers even more negatively (Hayvren & Hymel, 1984) and exacerbate peer conflicts.  These  concerns have not been empirically substantitated (Foster & Ritchey, 1979). Research experience indicates children respond to the exercise in a matter-offact manner (Asher & Hymel, 1981) without further prejudice toward disliked peers.  It may be that as young children tend to be explicitly vocal about their  feelings toward peers during the course of their daily interactions, they are well aware of which children in the group are liked and which are not.  It seems  unlikely that the sociometric exercise provides the children with novel information, or that it highlights information that is already salient within the group. Hayvren and Hymel (1984) empirically tested some of these concerns.  They  found that in the 10-minute period immediately following sociometric testing (presumably the time when sociometric testing would have its greatest impact) none of the 27 children mentioned a negative or neutral choice to a peer, even without explicit instructions not to discuss sociometric choices.  Nor was there  any difference in the frequency of negative interactions between positive peer nominees and negative peer nominees during this period.  Furthermore, behav-  -11 -  ioral observations indicated there was no difference in the frequency of negative interactions with most- versus least-liked peers in the weeks prior to and following sociometric testing.  However, as Hayvren and Hymel's study was  conducted with preschoolers, these findings may not generalize to older populations.  Second, the utility of sociometric measures is limited to the identification of children with social problems. Although the correlates of sociometric status are coming to light, the measure does not directly provide information about the precise nature of the problems.  Third, the administration and scoring of these measures have presented problems.  Researchers have used a variety of scoring procedures and classi-  fication criteria which makes comparisons across studies difficult. For example, some investigators subtract negative nominations from positive nominations to obtain a sociometric score.  However, as the two dimensions are reported to be  uncorrelated (Asher & Hymel, 1981), this procedure is not recommended (French & Tyne, 1982;  Kane & Lawler, 1978;  Newcomb & Bukowski, 1983). Typically,  scores are simply summed: popular children are those who receive a high number of positive nominations and rejected children are those who receive a high number of negative nominations.  The number or proportion of children from  each group who are then selected as meeting classification criteria is determined arbitrarily. For example, some investigators chose the 3 (Oden & Asher, 1977) or 4 (Gresham & Nagle, 1980) highest and lowest rated children in each class. Others chose the 16 (Vosk et al., 1982) to 20 (Gronlund & Anderson, 1957) of the highest and lowest rated children from the total sample. Others (Gottman et al.,  - 12 1975) chose to use a median split to identify high and low status children.  Peer assessment measures are the other major form of peer judgement strategies.  The Bower (1960, 1969,  1981) Class Play measure is the  frequently used peer assessment technique.  most  This measure was designed to be  used in conjunction with teacher ratings as a screening battery. The battery was devised to help teachers identify third- through seventh-graders with emotional problems who could then be referred to a mental health professional diagnosis and treatment.  for  The measure consists of 14 (1981 version) hypothetical  roles in a play.  Students are instructed to select a classmate who would best  play each role.  Half the roles are positive roles (e.g., "Someone who is the  leader when children do something in class.") and half are negative (e.g., "A person who often gets angry over nothing and gets into many fights.").  A child's  score is the percentage of positive and negative roles for which he or she was chosen.  Peer assessment measures are often incorrectly classified as a sociometric technique (Asher & Hymel, 1981;  Connolly, 1983;  Kane & Lawler, 1979).  Sociometric procedures employ peer responses to one or two criteria questions as a measure of attraction or likeability between individuals within the group. Peer assessment measures require children to indicate certain characteristics, traits, or roles that describe their peers rather than to describe how much they like or dislike certain peers. Failure to distinguish the two types of measures can result in confusion in interpreting research concerning the behavioral correlates of sociometric status.  Asher and Hymel (1981) argue that research examining the  behavioral correlates of acceptance requires that a measure of attraction or  - 13 likeability be related to one or more measures of behavior. This is not the case when a peer assessment measure is used instead of a sociometric measure. Instead, peer descriptions of behavior are being related to other measures of behavior. These studies would be interpreted as studies of the validity of peer assessment rather than studies of the behavioral correlates of sociometric status (Asher & Hymel, 1981).  Relationships Among the Three Methods of Assessment.  Modest to strong  correlations exist among the three methods of assessment (Green & Forehand, 1980). Perfect correlations are not expected as behavioral observations, teacher judgements, and peer judgements each reflect a different aspect of social competence.  Moderate to strong correlations have been reported between peer and teacher judgements (Bower, 1981; Vosk, 1980).  Connolly, 1983;  Green, Beck, Forehand, &  For example, Green, Forehand, Beck, and Vosk (1980) report a  correlation between teacher ratings and positive peer ratings, rejected peer nominations, and disliked peer ratings of -.439, .481, and .586, respectively.  Modest to moderate correlations are generally reported between peer judgement measures and behavioral observations. Furman (1984) points out that a specific social behavior is not going to be linked closely with sociometric status as sociometric status is affected by a number of other factors such as physical attractiveness, intelligence, and special skills or talents.  Stronger  predictive relationships are found between general patterns of prosocial behaviors and popular sociometric status and between general patterns of anti-  -14 social (aggressive) behaviors and rejected sociometric status.  Modest to moderate correlations are also found between teacher judgements and behavioral observations.  For example, Green, Forehand, Beck, and  Vosk (1980) found a correlation of .201 between negative teacher ratings and rate  of  negative  correlation  peer  between  interaction.  teacher  rankings  Connolly of  (1983) reports a  popularity  and  rate  moderate of  verbal  interaction.  With respect to predicting behavior, it is generally reported that teacher judgements are as strong as, or better predictors of positive social behavior than peer judgements; but are weaker predictors of negative social behaviors.  It  appears that teachers can reliably identify children who have social problems, but are less accurate  in differentiating subgroups of socially maladjusted  children (Bower, 1981; Green, Beck, Forehand, & Vosk, 1980).  Subgroups of Socially Isolated Children  The revival of peer sociometric assessment measures has led to the identification of at least two subgroups of socially isolated children: Those who are rejected and those who are neglected by their peers (Coie et al., 1982; French & Tyne, 1982; Furman, 1982; Perry, 1979). Rejected children are those isolates who receive a high number of negative nominations or ratings from their peers and few, if any, positive endorsements.  Neglected children are those  isolates who seem to be simply ignored, rather than disliked by their peers. They  - 15 receive few, if any, positive or negative nominations from their peers. some rejected or neglected  While  children may have one or even two friends or  playmates inside or outside the classroom, these children are isolates in the sense that they are excluded from close peer friendship groups.  Clinical profiles of accepted, rejected, and to a lesser extent, neglected children are emerging.  Research indicates that accepted (average to popular)  children tend to be more knowledgeable about how to make friends, distribute and receive more positive reinforcement, are better communicators (Gottman, Gonso, & Rasmussen, 1975), are more cooperative, show leadership skills (Coie & Dodge, 1983), and have greater social mobility (Ladd, 1983) than rejected or neglected children. Rejected children exhibit more behavior problems according to parent and teacher ratings (French & Waas, 1985), engage in more negative interactions (Coie et al., 1982; aggression (Asarnow, 1983;  Vosk et al., 1982) involving physical and verbal  Deluty, 1981;  Dodge, 1980;  Dodge, Schlundt,  Schocken, & Delugach, 1983; Ladd, 1983), lack age appropriate knowledge about how to make friends, and are off task more often, both in the classroom (Gottman et al., 1975) and on the playground (Ladd, 1983). Neglected children, who have received little attention from researchers until very recently, engage in the least amount of aggressive behavior (Deluty, 1981) and are generally described as passive, withdrawn, timid, and shy (French & Tyne, 1982).  For  example, Renshaw and Asher (1982) found neglected, but not rejected, children were perceived as shy by their peers. Coie et al. (1982) also found that popular and rejected groups of children were not described as shy by their peers.  In a study conducted prior to the revival of sociometry, Kupfer et al.  - 16 (1974) compared three types (as identified by teachers) of problem school children:  those who had learning difficulties, those who were aggressive, and  those who were shy and withdrawn.  Problem behaviors identified by factor  analysis as typical of the shy/withdrawn children (stays alone at recess, seems friendless, not chosen for activities, doesn't speak to others) and of aggressive children (grabs, fights, brags, bosses others, verbally aggressive) are comparable to behaviors thought to be characteristic of socially neglected and socially rejected children respectively.  Sociometric status appears to be moderately stable, from kindergarten to grade one (Rubin & Daniels-Bierness, 1983) and from grade three through to grade ten (Coie & Dodge, 1983). However, Moreno (1934) found the proportion of isolates was highest in kindergarten and generally decreased with grade. Coie and Dodge (1983) found that of accepted, rejected, and neglected status groups, rejected status was the most stable.  It appears that with time, neglected  children are more likely than rejected children to experience a positive change in their social status and receive acceptance from peers. Cairns (1983) notes these findings are provocative in suggesting that perhaps neglected status children "are not as 'at risk as they have been purported to be" (p. 434). This view appears to 1  be supported by earlier work conducted by Morris, Soroker, and Burris (1954) who reported in a follow-up study that the majority of shy, withdrawn children (i.e., children most likely to be neglected by peers as suggested previously) were satisfactorily adjusted as adults. This appears to be a very positive outcome. Before optimistic conclusions are drawn, the study's small sample size (N of 34) and lack of objective measures or statistical analyses should be noted.  The  outcome becomes even less optimistic when the results are restated: a f ul 35%  - 17 of shy, withdrawn children were only marginally adjusted as adults.  Also, it  should be recalled that the Coie and Dodge (1983) findings indicate neglected isolates are more likely to—but may not necessarily—experience  a positive  change in status.  Treatment of Socially Isolated Children  A number of behavioral and cognitive treatment programs for isolated children have been developed.  Based on evidence that rejected children exhibit  behavioral problems and lack the interchanges  (Furman,  1982;  social skills necessary  Rubin  & Daniels-Beirness,  programs have targeted social skill deficits: have  included  modeling  (both  film  and  live  models),  management,  techniques.  Cognitive interventions, using techniques have  focused  processes or abilities.  coaching-instructional,  on  1983),  peer  behavioral  Behavioral intervention strategies  contingency  described,  for positive  and  training children in  peer  socialization,  behavioral  rehearsal  similar to those just  specific  social-cognitive  The two main cognitive intervention approaches have  been social perspective taking training (e.g., Chandler, 1973; Selman, 1980) and interpersonal problem solving training (Spivack 3c Shure, 1982).  Although as a collective, treatment outcome studies have been limited by methodological  problems (i.e.,  small  samples,  single  rather than multiple  outcome measures, lack of appropriate control groups, lack of data examining treatment  generalization),  Keane, 1981; Kendall, 1982; Wanlass & Prinz, problems,  preliminary results are promising (see Kendall & Morison, 1984;  1982, for reviews).  Conger &  Urbain & Kendall, 1980;  In addition to these  methodological  - 18 investigators  are beginning to address  two  major shortcomings of earlier  treatment studies.  One  major  differentiate  shortcoming  of  these  studies has  been  between subgroups of rejected and neglected  the  failure  to  isolates in their  samples, or to tailor programs to meet the specific needs of ;these groups of children.  It is becoming increasingly evident that not all socially  children have the same difficulties (Wanlass & Prinz, 1982):  isolated  Some may have  specific skill deficits, some may have the skills but are too anxious to apply them, some may engage in excessive aggressive behaviors, some may lack social knowledge, interpersonal problem solving strategies, another's  perspective.  difficulties.  Some  isolates  may  or the ability to adopt  experience  several  of  these  Because of the multidimensional nature of the problem of social  isolation, researchers and clinicians need to be certain that the behavioral and cognitive skills targeted in treatment programs are appropriate for the subgroups of isolates and for the individual child (Furman, 1982; Kendall, 1982; Michelson & Wood, 1980). A related issue, currently arising in the literature, is whether researchers and clinicians should concentrate their efforts on one or both groups of isolates.  Some psychologists (e.g., French & Waas, 1985) recommend that  efforts be focussed on the problems of rejected children in view of the following evidence: (a) the moderate stability of rejected, but not neglected status over a five  year period,  (b) repeated convergent evidence  that rejected, but not  neglected children, exhibit behavioral problems, and (c) the concurrent and long term severity of difficulties associated with rejected status.  Others argue it is  equally important to treat shy, withdrawn (i.e., neglected) children. As Cairn (1983) notes, the differential stability of social status and the reasons for its  - 19 persistance  or change,  requires further study;  overcome their social status.  not all neglected children  Kendall and Morison (1984) argue that in the short  run, intervention on behalf of these children can ameliorate immediate problems or  psychological  friendships  distress  facilitate  and improve overall adjustment.  cognitive,  social,  behavioral,  Moreover, as  emotional,  and  moral  development, intervention can have positive developmental consequences.  A second major shortcoming of early treatment studies has been the failure to consider developmental factors in the design and implementation of programs.  A number of researchers (Asher & Renshaw, 1981;  Blyth, 1983;  Dickens & Perlman, 1981; Furman, 1982; Michelson & Wood, 1980; Rubin, 1982) are emphasizing the importance of integrating the fields of developmental and child clinical psychology.  Furman (1980, 1982) argues that a developmental  perspective is essential for three reasons.  First, it is essential to establish  developmental norms of typical social behavior for any given age group in order that appropriate targets are selected for change. Investigators are often at odds as  to  which behaviors are problematic.  Normative data is essential  to  determine, for example, when aggressive behavior is appropriate (or typical), excessive, or deficient.  Second, consideration of developmental trends can  enhance the application of traditional behavioral techniques.  For example,  Furman (1980) reviews evidence of developmental changes in the reinforcement value of different stimuli. For young children, social praise is most reinforcing when the emphasis is placed on approval ("I really like what you did.") For older children, social praise is most reinforcing when the correctness of the act is emphasized ("You did a really good job").  Third, an expanded, developmental  view of the social world of children will facilitate new and more  effective  - 20 -  approaches to treating and preventing social difficulties (Blythe, 1983).  Investigators are beginning to address these issues. Treatment studies in which neglected and rejected children are clearly differentiated and in which developmental considerations are incorporated are now being conducted (e.g., Bierman & Furman, 1984).  The Relationship between Social Cognition and Social Behavior  Child clinical researchers are also integrating their work with that of developmental researchers in order to investigate the social-cognitive abilities of social isolates and to examine the relationship between social cognition and social behavior. A basic assumption underlying research on the development of social cognition is that the way in which one reasons about other people and about social situations is a major determinant of one's social behavior and adjustment (Pellegrini, 1985;  Shantz, 1983).  Selman and Demorest (1984)  suggest the behavior problems exhibited by isolates may represent difficulties with performance, with understanding, or both.  Some of the social-cognitive  research suggests that social-cognitive competence deficits may be limiting behavioral competencies. The relationship between social cognition and social skill is most likely bilaterally reciprocal, rather than unilaterally causal (Pellegrini, 1985).  That is, social interaction facilitates social-cognitive  development, and mature social-cognitive functioning facilitates behavioral competence.  Compared to the performances of their popular peers, children with  - 21 problematic peer relations seem to experience  deficits  in  social-cognitive  abilities such as affective perspective-taking and interpersonal problem solving. For example, Peery (1979) had popular, amiable, isolated, and rejected 4-yearolds complete a social comprehension task involving the ability to match affect to a social situation. Popular children scored significantly higher than isolated children who scored significantly higher than the rejected children. Similarly, McGuire and Weisz (1982) found with an older sample of fifth- and sixth-graders, that having friends versus not having friends was significantly associated with affective perspective-taking ability and altruism.  In their work examining interpersonal problem solving skill training, Spivack and Shure (1982) report that the ability to generate alternative solutions to problems is the most important skill uncovered among 4-and 5-year olds. This ability differentiates children they describe as normally behaving children from impatient-impulsive and inhibited-withdrawn children.  Of these latter two  groups, inhibited-withdrawn children seem to be more deficient.  Although the  children in these studies were not selected on the basis of peer sociometric status, parallels between impatient-impulsive and rejected children (noted for their disruptive, aggressive interaction style) and between inhibited-withdrawn and neglected children, can likely be drawn. Spivack and Shure also report that while  normal  and  impatient-impulsive  children  can  generate  potential  consequences of actions (with the latter group acting inappropriately despite this ability), inhibited-withdrawn children cannot.  These authors also report that  inhibited-withdrawn children are less likely than others to pick up on cues indicative of interpersonal problems than are other children.  - 22 -  Richard and  Dodge (1982) replicated some of Spivack and Shure's (1982)  findings in an older sample of 8- to 10-year-old popular, aggressive, and isolated boys selected on the basis of sociometric data.  A s in the earlier studies, boys  with poor peer relations performed less skillfully than popular boys in generating solutions  to  interpersonal  problems.  As  well, unpopular children  were less  skillful than popular peers in generating e f f e c t i v e , alternative solutions. the Spivack and  Shure (1982) findings, isolated children did not show  Unlike greater  deficiency in these skills than the aggressive children.  Results  obtained  by  Asarnow  and  Callan  (1985) with peer nominated  popular and unpopular fourth- and sixth-grade boys ('isolates' or 'neglected' boys were not included in the sample) are consistent with those found by Richard Dodge (1982). Asarnow and C a l l a n (1985) found that in response to interpersonal  hypothetical  problems, unpopular boys generated fewer alternative solutions,  (b) proposed fewer mature solutions, (c) generated (d) showed  and  less  adaptive  planning,  and  more aggressive solutions,  (e) evaluated  physically  aggressive  responses more positively, and positive responses more negatively, than popular boys.  In summary, results from these and that  children  with  problematic  similar studies consistently indicate  interaction styles may  be  characterized  by  immature social cognitive abilities such as interpersonal problem solving skills and a f f e c t i v e perspective-taking  skills.  - 23 Selman's Theory of Interpersonal Understanding  Selman (1976, 1980) has outlined the developmental  process by which  children construct and comprehend the relation of the perspectives of self and others (social perspective taking) and the developmental  process of children's  views and understanding of interpersonal relationships.  E a c h level of social  perspective taking is thought to provide the structural basis for a corresponding stage in the development of conceptions of interpersonal role relations.  Like  other structural stage models of development (such as Piaget's, 1970, theory of cognitive development and Kohlberg's (1981) theory of moral development), the stages of interpersonal understanding are thought invariant sequence.  That is, whereas environmental factors can influence the  rate of progression from through  the same  to occur universally, in an  one stage to the next, every individual  sequence  qualitatively  different  from  restructuring  in the way  of stages. the next;  the individual  Each that  progessive  is, represents  progresses  stage a  views social relations.  level is  fundamental Each  stage  represents a structured wholeness; that is, i t represents an underlying logic which characterizes thought at that stage across a variety of social processes or situations. Selman has identified stages of conceptual understanding across four domains  of interpersonal  role  relations:  individuals  (i.e.,  conceptions of  intrapsychic functioning of people in general), close friendships, peer groups, and parent-child relations.  The domain of interest to this study is the friendship  domain. A summary description of each of the five stages of development within this domain are presented in Table 1.  - 24 -  Table 1. Stages of Friendship.  Age Range 3- 7 years  Stage 0 - Momentary physicalistic playmates.  Dyadic friendship  relations are based on thinking which focuses upon propinquity and proximity (i.e. physicalistic parameters) to the exclusion of others. whom  A  close friend is someone who  the  Friendship  self  happens to be  lives close by and  playing with  at the  is more accurately playmateship.  with  moment.  Issues such  as  jealousy or the intrusion of a third party into a play situation are constructed by specific  toys  the or  child  space  at Stage 0 rather than  as as  specific fights  fights  over  which involve  personal feelings.  4- 9 years  Stage 1 - One-way assistance. Friendship conceptions at Stage 1 are one  way  in the sense that a friend is seen  because he or she performs wants done or  as  important  specific activities which the self  accomplished.  In other  words, one  person's  attitude is unreflectively set up as a standard, and the friend's actions must match the standard thus formulated. A close friend is someone  with more than Stage 0 demographic  (e.g., lives close by). A better  than  credentials  close friend is someone who  one knows  other friends, in terms of one-way knowledge of  other's likes and dislikes.  6-12 years  Stage 2 - Fairweather friendships  over  the  cooperation. previous  stages  The  advance of Stage 2  is based  on  the  new  awareness of interpersonal perspectives as reciprocal. The  two-  way  for  nature  of  friendships  is exemplified  by  coordinating and approximating through adjustment  concerns  by both self  and other, the specific likes and dislikes of self and other, rather than matching one person's actions to the other's fixed standard  - 25 -  Table 1. (continued) Stages of Friendship.  Age Range of expectation. T h e limitation of this level is the discontinuity of  these  reciprocal expectations.  f a i r w e a t h e r — s p e c i f ic  arguments  Friendship at Stage are seen  as  2 is  severing the  relationship although both parties may still have affection for one  another  "inside".  T h e coordination of attitudes at the  moment defines the relation.  No underlying continuity exists  which maintains the relation and allows for a conception of the relationship during the period of conflict or adjustment.  9-15 years  Stage 3 - Intimate and mutually shared relationships. A t Stage 3 there is the awareness of both affective bonding  a continuity  between close friends.  of relation and  T h e importance of  friendship does not rest only upon the f a c t that the self is bored or lonely as at previous stages;  at Stage 3, friendships are seen  as a basic means of developing mutual intimacy and mutual support.  Friends share personal problems;  the occurrence of  conflicts between friends does not mean the suspension of the relation itself, because the underlying continuity between the partners transcends specific and minor foul weather incidents. The  limitation of Stage 3 arises from  the overemphasis of the  two person clique, and the possessiveness that arises out of the realization  that close relations are difficult  to form  and to  maintain in that they take constant effort.  12 to adulthood  Stage  4  -  Autonomous  interdependence  interdependent  friendships.  which characterizes Stage 4 is a sense that a  friendship continues to grow and be transformed partner's ability  The  to synthesize feelings  through  each  of independence and  - 26 Table 1. (continued) Stages of Friendship.  Age Range dependence.  Independence means that each person accepts the  other's need  to establish  through such experiences.  relations  with others  and  to  grow  Dependence reflects the awareness  that friends must rely on each other for psychological support, to draw strength from  each other, and  to gain a sense of self-  identification through identification with other as a significant person whose relation to the self is qualitatively distinct from less meaningful  Note.  relations.  Adapted from Assessing Interpersonal Understanding: An Interview and Scoring Manual in F i v e Parts by R. Selman, 1979, Unpublished manual.  - 27 -  E a c h of the domains is comprised  of a number of issues or concepts of  particular relevance to that domain. Issues related to concepts of the individual include: and  subjectivity (thoughts, feelings, motives), self-awareness, personality,  personality change.  formation,  Issues related  cohesion-loyalty,  leadership, and termination. formation,  love  and  to concepts  conformity,  of the peer  rules-norms,  group are:  decision-making,  Issues related to parent-child relations include:  emotional  ties,  obedience,  punishment,  and  conflict  resolution (Selman, 1980). Descriptions of issues relevant to close friendship are presented in Table 2.  To  assess a child's stage of reasoning, the child is read a hypothetical  story (preschoolers are also shown a filmstrip) about an individual, close friends, a peer group, or parent and child. A semi-structured interview follows in which the child's conceptions of each of the issues relevant to that domain are elicited through a series of standard questions and probes.  Questions range from the  general to the specific to facilitate the child's expression of his or her optimal level of reflection. F o r example, within the friendship interview, questions may refer to friendships in general, the friendship in the story, and the child's personal friendships.  The logic or reasoning underlying the child's response is  then matched to the corresponding conceptual stage.  Selman (1980) and his colleagues (e.g., Selman, Jaquette, & Lavin, 1977; Selman, Schorin, Stone, & Phelps, 1983) have begun to apply the theory within the context of individual child therapy, clinical school settings for children with emotionally  based  learning  problems, and naturalistic  functioning groups of children.  settings  of  normally  Preliminary reports indicate the application of  - 28 -  Table 2. Issues in the Friendship Domain  1.  Friendship formation.  Why (motives) friendships are important and how  (mechanism) friendships are made.  Characteristics of an ideal person  with whom to make friends.  2.  Closeness and Intimacy. The various types of friendships, what is an ideal friend, and what factors make for intimacy.  Difference  between close  and "everyday" friends.  3.  Trust.  What friends do f o r each  other:  reciprocity, committment,  obligations.  4.  Jealousy. Feelings about intrusions into a new or established relationship; factors that engender jealousy between friends.  5.  C o n f l i c t s and their resolutions.  How  friends resolve  problems;  the  meaning of conflict in a friendship; positive as well as negative e f f e c t s .  6.  Termination. How and why friendships break up.  Note.  F r o m "The child as a friendship philosopher" by R. Selman. In T h e Development of Children's Friendships by S. Asher and 3. Gottman (Eds.), 1981, New York: Cambridge University Press.  - 29 -  the developmental  model in these settings may  be very useful to clinicians in  understanding and enhancing (for example, through psychoeducational techniques such as discussion of personal and hypothetical  social dilemmas and  playing  social cognition games requiring perspective-taking skills) the reflective abilities of children with poor peer relations. E m p i r i c a l l y rigorous treatment studies are needed to test the clinical potential of the application of the theory.  The  relationship  relationships Pellegrini  has  been  examined  between examined  interpersonal by  Pellegrini  intercorrelations  between  understanding (1985) and two  and  Selman  aspects  peer (1976).  of  social  cognition--interpersonal understanding and means-ends problem-solving a b i l i t y - and a number of indices of social competence. These included peer and teacher measures  of  behaviorial  competence  as  well  as  measures  of  academic  competence and intellectual ability. In a sample of 100 fourth- through seventhgraders,  Pellegrini  found  a  positive  correlation  between  interpersonal  understanding and peer judgements of positive social behavior and a negative correlation behavior.  between No  understanding  and  peer  was  of isolated  social  relationship was found between interpersonal understanding and  peer judgements of disruptive social behavior. ability  judgements  found  interpersonal  to be  a  stronger  A s means-ends problem-solving  predictor  understanding, Pellegrini suggested  interpersonal relationships may  of social  competence  than  that mature conceptions of  be necessary, but not sufficient for competent  social behavior.  Selman performance  (1976) and his colleagues (Selman et al., 1977) compared the of children with peer relation problems with the performance  of  - 30 -  normal children on a number of cognitive and  social-cognitive measures.  The  c l i n i c a l sample consisted of 24 boys of two age groups (7- to 9-years, and 10- to 12-years) who, placed  because of problems with learning and with peer relations, were  in special schools.  Each of these boys was  chronological age, IQ, sex, social class, and school.  matched (on variables of  race) with a peer from a public  Several findings are of particular interest to this discussion.  First,  consistent with the results obtained in similar studies, Selman found significant differences between the clinical population social-cognitive relations, and  measures  (perspective  and  taking  stage of moral reasoning) but  measures of cognitive development.  the  normal population  level,  stage  of  on a l l  interpersonal  not on Piagetian logico-physical  Compared  with their normal peers, the  clinical group of children displayed a developmental lag in their social-cognitive reasoning  abilities, but not in their general cognitive ability.  particularly  striking  in light  of  subsequent  research  This finding is  which has  shown  that  rejected children display a propensity to associate with younger children rather than agemates (Ladd, 1983) and that socially withdrawn children benefited most in a treatment condition matching them with a younger peer versus an agemate (Furman et al., 1979). Secondly, between groups, the normal group of children showed greater synchrony across their scores on cognitive reasoning reasoning;  clinic  social  the c l i n i c a l group showed greater desynchrony, lagging further behind  on the social reasoning measures. the  and  children  with  Patterns of synchrony or desynchrony among  respect  to  reasoning  interpersonal domains were not reported.  about  issues  within  specific  However, results from a number of  studies examining behavioral and cognitive correlates of social isolation suggest that  rejected  and  neglected  children  may  have  particularly  conceptions of specific issues relevant to friendships. Two  immature  studies (Gottman et  - 31 -  al., 1975; proposed  Renshaw by  &  popular  Asher, 1983) and  unpopular  examined children  friendship in  making  response  to  strategies  hypothetical  situations. Unpopular children were found to be less knowledgeable about how make friends, were more likely to offer inappropriate  negative strategies,  appeal to authority  figures than were popular children.  observed  actual  children's  were less successful  have  groups: Rejected and neglected children  investigated  conflict resolution.  hover in an e f f o r t to join group activities. the  relationship  between  sociometric  situations (Renshaw & negative  Parkhurst, 1980).  Other  status  and  Data show that compared with popular children, rejected  children offer more negative strategies of conflict resolution in  neutralizing  Moreover,  high rates of disruptive tactics whereas neglected  children tended to wait and studies  found distinctive  in their attempts than were popular children.  rejected children displayed  and  Dodge et a l . (1983)  peer group entry strategies and  behavioral patterns among sociometric  to  The  neglected children may  Asher, 1982), and exchanges  with  are  peers  hypothetical  less skillful in de-escalating (Asarnow,  results of these studies  1983;  Gottman  suggest that rejected  or &  and/or  experience developmental lags in their understanding of  friendship formation and conflict resolution.  Thirdly, Selman found that a high negative peer assessment score significantly and  negatively  correlated with interpersonal  scores, but  was  was not  correlated with perspective taking or cognitive levels. Positive peer assessments were not correlated with any  of the reasoning domains.  While generally,  clinic group scored lower on social reasoning tasks, this was in the clinic group; C o l l e c t i v e l y , Selman  the  not true of a l l those  some of these children did as well as their normal peers. suggests  these  results indicate  that  children  who  are  - 32 -  perceived negatively by development, development  but may  their peers are likely  children  with  or  not  may  normal be  or  liked  by  to have low  high  levels  peers.  of  social-cognitive social-cognitive  Mature  interpersonal  conceptions are necessary but not sufficient for adaptive interpersonal relations.  Purpose of the Study  If researchers and clinicians are to be successful in their efforts to help socially  isolated  developmental  children, framework  then is  further needed  research that to  determine  is devised within whether  there  a  are  cognitive/structural and behavioral/performance problems that require separate and/or concurrent treatment (Kendall, 1982).  This study had two goals:  (a) to  clearly differentiate between rejected and neglected isolate children in order to identify the common and  unique difficulties experienced by these groups  and  (b) to contribute to the body of research which attempts to integrate the fields of clinical child psychology and developmental psychology.  Specifically, the purpose of this study was to compare the performance of peer identified rejected and neglected children with the performance of their socially accepted peers using the Friendship Understanding measure of Selman's developmental theory of Interpersonal Understanding. Previous studies reviewed indicate that children with poor peer relations may  experience a developmental  lag in their social-cognitive abilities; however, none have specifically examined whether rejected and neglected children differ from their socially adjusted peers with respect to their views and understanding of friendship. Findings indicating a lag or delay in development among either or both subgroups of isolated children  - 33 -  would help clarify the kinds of difficulties experienced by these children and ultimately contribute to the development of more e f f e c t i v e treatment programs.  Hypotheses  T o examine age differences, the performances of children from grade 2 and  grade  7  were  compared.  Elementary  school children  were  chosen in  preference to younger or older children because social maladjustment in middle childhood is associated with a number of concurrent difficulties, is predictive of later psychological problems, and often is of concern to parents and teachers of children in this age range, and because the validity of sociometric data with children of this age is better understood than that obtained from older children.  Students in grade 2 were chosen as it was  younger  or  reasoned that peer  relations and sociometric status would be well established by the second school year. Students in grade 7, the highest grade in elementary schools, were chosen to provide the maximum developmental range for comparison.  It was higher  level  hypothesized that the older, grade 7 students, would reason at a of understanding than  the younger  children.  Secondly, it was  hypothesized that socially rejected and neglected children would perform at a lower level of understanding than their accepted agemates.  A  sociometric  status-by-grade interaction was not expected. In the Selman (1976) study, groupby-age interactions were predicted, based on the assumption of a slower rate of development even  further  in disturbed children. behind their  The hypothesis that older children would be  agemates than  would younger  children with peer  difficulties, was not supported. Thirdly, i t was hypothesized that compared with  - 34 accepted children, rejected and neglected children would experience lags in their understanding of specific friendship issues, most probably friendship formation and conflict resolution.  Predictions  concerning  the  relative  performance  of  rejected  versus  neglected children were not made because to date there has been little work directly comparing these two groups and because sound theoretical arguments could be made supporting predictions in either direction. quantity  and  quality  of  social  interaction  For example, if the  facilitates  social-cognitive  development and behavioral competence as is generally theorized, it might be argued that neglected children, who hover alone on the sidelines, may experience a  greater  lag  than  rejected  children,  who  interact  with  peers,  albeit  inappropriately. Conversely, it might be argued that although neglected children do not actively engage in interactions, they may acquire social knowledge and skill by vicarious learning through observation of peers modeling effective interaction skills, and thus could be expected to perform at a higher conceptual level than their peers. For these reasons, the study was viewed as exploratory of the relative performance of the two groups of isolates.  Hypotheses regarding sex differences were also not offered as it was expected that the groups formed according to sociometric status within grade would contain unequal and relatively small sub-samples of boys and girls, which would prohibit meaningful analyses.  - 35 -  Method  Overview of Method  Approval for the project was received from the school board, principals, and teachers. A sociometric nomination exercise was conducted in second- and seventh-grade classes.  Based on the peer nominations, children were classified  as either accepted, rejected, or neglected. and a subsample  A l l rejected and neglected children,  of accepted children, were interviewed individually.  (1979) Friendship Understanding Interview was  used to assess one  Selman's aspect of  social-cognitive development, conceptions of interpersonal role relations.  The  Vocabulary and Block Design subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised (Wechsler, 1974) were used to estimate general intellectual ability.  Subjects  Participants were 35 (15F, 20M) second-grade and 42 (26F, 16M) seventhgrade children selected from five second-grade (n = 27, 25, 22, 25, 27) and four seventh-grade (n = 34, 33, 30, 36) classes from five schools in a metropolitan west coast city. The data from six subjects was discarded because of equipment failure (two grade seven students, one nonresponsiveness  to  interview  female and one male) and because of  questions (four  grade  two  students:  two  'neglected' children, both males, and two 'accepted' children, one female and one male) which  left  a total  sample  of 31  second-grade  and  40  seventh-grade  children. The mean age of the second-graders was 7-10, range 7-0 to 9-1 and the  - 36 -  mean age of the seventh-graders was sample, 7 1 %  13-6,  range  of the children were Caucasian, 2 1 %  12-0  to 14-3.  Within this  were Oriental and 8 %  were  East Indian.  The  participants, recruited from  a larger sample of 126  second-graders  and 133 seventh-graders, had received written parental consent (Appendix A) to participate in the study and met  selection criteria based on a peer sociometric  measure, as described below.  Beck, Collins, Overholser, and  recently  reported  that  children  who  did not  Terry  (1984)  receive parental consent  to  participate in their research examining social competence, were more likely to be viewed who  by teachers as having unsatisfactory peer relationships than children  participated  in the  study.  investigators to report the  Consequently,  proportion of children  possible, assess i f these children differ from present study, 8 2 %  these  authors  denied  have  urged  permission and i f  participating subjects.  In the  of the original sample received permission to participate in  the study; 1 2 % failed to return their consent forms, 6%  were denied permission.  Of the sub-sample for which sociometric measures were taken, 8 6 % received permission, 9 %  failed to return their consent form;  5%  were denied permission.  However, in this sample, unlike the Beck et a l . (1984) sample, there was  no  significant  to  participate;  relationship  between  sociometric  status  and  permission  children, judged by peers to have unsatisfactory peer relations,  were equally likely to participate as those children with satisfactory relations. Thus i t was concluded that the rejected and neglected children who  participated  in the study represented an unbiased subsample with respect to sociometric status.  -37 -  Measures  Social Competence; Sociometric Nominations  A peer sociometric nomination measure provided an assessment of social competence.  Peer  nominations  investigation is concerned  are  the recommended  procedure  with children's friendships and  when a  when  the  distinction  between rejected and neglected children is to be made (Asher & Hymel, 1981). For these reasons, peer nominations were chosen in preference to peer ratings (an index of overall peer acceptability, but not of peer friendships) and Bower Class Play Measure (peer perceptions of general social competence).  the Peer  nominations were also chosen in preference to teacher assessment measures as these measures tend to be less powerful in discriminating subgroups of socially isolated children.  Reliability of peer sociometric methods is evaluated in terms of internal consistency (the amount of agreement among the assessors) and stability (the similarity between measures taken at two points in time). Internal consistency of peer nominations across a number of studies has been reported as .89 (Kane & Lawler, 1978). Test-retest reliability for positive nominations ranges from .65 to .84 over a 6- to 12-week period (Busk, Ford, & Schulman, 1973; 1982;  C o i e et al.,  Connolly, 1983).  Validity validity. nominations  is evaluated in terms  Concurrent with  validity  teacher  has  judgements  of concurrent and been and  established behavioral  predictive by  criterion  comparing  observations of  peer peer  - 38 -  interaction  (Connolly, 1983;  Gottman  et al., 1975;  Green  et al., 1980).  Evidence for the predictive validity of peer nominations has been provided by longitudinal mental health studies (see F r e n c h & Tyne, 1982, review) and by leadership studies with military groups (see Kane & Lawler, 1978, review).  Although  the reliability  and  validity  of  sociometric measures are  considered to be good, these properties may be undermined in certain conditions. F o r example, Kane and Lawler (1978) point out that the number of children in a group and the number of selections to be made will a f f e c t scores. If the number of nominees is held constant across groups of varying size, children from smaller groups will obtain more extreme scores than children from larger groups. Scores are also a f f e c t e d when less than nominations. be  1 0 0 % of group  members participate in the  In this situation, the number of popular and rejected children may  underestimated  whereas  the  number  of  neglected  children  may  be  overestimated. A third source of variability in scoring stems from the variety of cut-off scores used across studies to classify rejected, or neglected. classification  critera.  In practise, each Consequently,  children  as popular, average,  researcher selects his or her own  a child  could be identified  as either  average or rejected, for example, depending on the classification criteria chosen by the investigator.  A  number  of these  scoring  problems  developed by Newcomb and Bukowski (1983).  are addressed  by  procedures  They propose the use of a two-  dimensional probability model for the determination of sociometric status with positive and negative nomination data. A binomial distribution is applied to raw scores to identify rare (i.e., not expected by chance) scores on a preference  - 39 -  dimension (likeability as reflected by positive vs. negative nominations) and on an impact dimension (visibility within a group as reflected by total number of nominations). On the basis of the size of the nominating group and the number of selections to be made, children can be assigned according to their scores, to one of five independent  and exhaustive groups:  neglected, or controversial.  popular, average, rejected,  (Controversial children are those children  who  receive a high number of both positive and negative nominations). The reliability and validity of these procedures were compared with two other two-dimensional sociometric models (Coie et al., 1982; Peery, 1979). In terms of consistency and validity of classification, the probability method was found to be particularly strong in classifying  rejected  and neglected children  relative  to the other  models. None of the methods was successful in reliably identifying controversial children, a category which may have limited validity.  Classification and Scoring C r i t e r i a . The children's sociometric status was determined according to the procedures and criteria outlined by Newcomb and Bukowski (1983, and A. Newcomb, personal communication, C r i t e r i a for group assignment are given in Tables 3 and 4.  October 25, 1984). Peer  nominations  were solicited for same-sex classmates. Sociometric measures were not taken in classes where  (a) there were less than  eight  same-sex group  members or  (b) less than 7 5 % of same-sex group members participated in the nominations. The girls from one grade 2 class failed to meet criteria (a) and the boys from one grade 2 class and one grade 7 class failed to meet criteria (b).  - 40 -  Table 3. Sociometric Status Classification C r i t e r i a  Status  Criteria  Popular status:  a rare liked score (sum of positive nominations) and a disliked score (sum of negative nominations) below the mean;  Average Status:  a chance impact score (total number of nominations) and a less than rare number of liked and disliked nominations;  Rejected Status:  a rare disliked score and a liked score below the mean;  Neglected Status:  lower than chance impact score, in the case where 1 0 0 % of group members participated in the nominations; or  a maximum of 2 nominations (range -2 to +2), in the case where less than 1 0 0 % but more than 7 5 % of the children in a group of nine or more participated; or,  a maximum of 1 nomination (range -1 to +1) in the case where less than 1 0 0 % but more than 7 5 % of the children in a group of eight participated.  Note.  Adapted from Social impact and social preference as determinants of children's peer group status by A. Newcomb and W. Bukowski. Developmental Psychology, 1983, J_9, 856-867.  - 41 -  Table 4. C r i t e r i a for Rare Like/Disliked and Impact Scores  Group S i z e  Liked/Disliked Raw Score  8-12  13-15  =6  =7  Group S i z e  Impact Raw Score  Note.  8  9  10-50  ^4  ^3  =2  Rare scores based on six selections per nominator, three positive and three negative, p=.05. F r o m Social impact and social preference as determinants of children's peer group status, by A. Newcomb and W. Bukowski. Developmental Psychology, 1983, _19, 856-867.  - 42 -  Intellectual Ability: WISC-R  Scale  The  Vocabulary  for  Children  and Block Design subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence -  Revised  (WISC-R)  were  administered  to  estimate  intellectual ability (Wechsler, 1974). This two subtest combination is a popular short form  of the WISC-R as these two  tests are good measures of general  intelligence, have consistently high reliabilities (Sattler, 1982) and because the combined score for these subtests show a higher correlation with F u l l Scale IQ (r =  .88)  than  any  other pair of subtests (Silverstein, 1975).  Reliability  data  reported for the Vocabulary and Block Design subtests are as follows (Wechsler, 1974):  (a) internal consistency, r_ = .86 and .85 respectively (b) stability, £ = .68 to .89, andj-= .78 to .86 respectively.  As the Friendship Interview, the dependent measure in this study, assesses abstract social reasoning, and  as its administration draws upon verbal skills  (receptive and expressive ability), the Block Design and Vocabulary subtests were particularly appropriate for the purposes of this study. The Block Design subtest involves analysis and synthesis of physical-spatial relationships (Sattler,  1982)  which was useful in allowing a comparison of the children's conceptual reasoning ability of a logico-physical nature with conceptual ability of a social nature.  The  Vocabulary Subtest, a test of word knowledge, which involves cognitive functions such as learning ability, memory, concept formation and language development (Sattler,  1982)  served  to  provide  a  check  that  the  variance  in children's  understanding of friendship was not due to differences in verbal skills.  - 43 -  Social Cognition: Interpersonal Understanding  The  Friendship  Interview,  Understanding measure, was  from  Selman's  (1980)  Interpersonal  used to assess the level of social cognitive maturity  characterizing the children's conceptions of issues relevant to friendship.  Selman and  his colleagues at the Harvard-Judge Baker Social Reasoning  Project continue to assess the reliability and validity of their theoretical model and its practical application (refer to Selman, 1980, for a complete discussion of reliability assessed  and  validity  in terms of  reliability and  issues).  Reliability  interrater reliability,  alternate form  reliability.  of  scoring  procedures  has  been  intrarater reliability, test-retest The  following data, based on  the  Interpersonal Understandings Maturity Score (IMS), an overall quantitative score computed by averaging all issues scores from a l l interpersonal domains, has been reported by Selman (1980):  (a)  Interrater Reliability  i.  between two expert scorers, £ =  ii.  between expert scorers and reading the manual, _r=  iii.  (b)  .96  three individuals trained only through  .92  between expert scorers and three workshop trained scorers, £ =  Intrarater Reliability  .94.  - 44 -  i  between original score and a blind rescoring six months later, _r = .91.  (c)  Test-Retest Reliability  estimates  range from  .51  after a 2-month interval to .92 after a  5.5-  month interval.  (d)  A l t e r n a t e F o r m Reliability j-=  .88.  To assess the extent to which the interview procedures are resistant to interviewer bias (inadvertant conducted  in  which  pulling for higher  interviewer  compared with control groups;  techniques no  stage answers), checks were  with  experimental  quantitative (number of  asked) differences or qualitative (ratings by  groups  were  questions/probes  independent judges to "leading"  subjects to higher level answers) differences were found in the behaviour of the interviewers across the two groups.  The  construct validity of the model has been evaluated  in a series of  studies. Results of five sets of preliminary validation analyses  (a)  suggest a  synchrony of  structured wholeness within systems (such  as  interpersonal understanding) and across systems (the relationship among cognitive  developmental  interpersonal stages).  levels,  perspective-taking  levels,  and  - 45 -  (b)  indicate a relationship between interpersonal understanding and various demographic variables such as age (evidence suggests a steady  linear  development of understanding); social class (young working class children generally express lower levels of understanding until about  age 11 at  which time their understanding develops to match that of their middle class peers); and sex (young girls, ages 5 to 7, show a tendency to express higher levels of understanding than boys. This trend is not evident beyond this age group).  D i f f e r e n c e s in interpersonal understanding by race have  not been found.  (c)  indicate on the basis of longitudinal data that progression through stages occur in an invariant sequence,  (d)  show that differences between specific groups expected to function at higher or lower levels of understanding than the general population do occur, according to available clinical-comparative test data, and  (e)  indicate a relationship between interpersonal understanding and behavior (teacher ratings of behavioral strengths were significantly and positively correlated with interpersonal understanding scores).  Scoring Method.  Average  issue scores and global stage  scores were  computed according to a standard method, the issuing procedure, developed by Selman (1979).  A n y codeable response about one of the six friendship issues  given in response to an initial issue-oriented question or to subsequent follow-up probes  is assigned an issue-concept stage  score  representing the level of  - 46 -  interpersonal conception it captures. concept  Based on a weighted composite of issue-  scores, each issue is assigned a stage score that can be either a pure  stage level (e.g., level 2) or a transitional stage level (eg 2(1), 2 is the major score  and  1  Understanding  is the  minor  score).  A  quantitative score,  Score (FUS), is computed by weighting and  scores to obtain a total level score.  receive two-thirds weight and averaged  into  a  Friendship  averaging the issue  F o r example, in the friendship interview,  issue scores of formation 3(2), closeness and conflict resolution 3(2), and  the  intimacy 3, trust 3, jealousy 3,  termination 2 would be  weighted (major scores  minor scores receive a one-third weight) and  quantitative score  of  2.72.  This numerical  score  can  be  converted into a descriptive level score (in this example 3(2)), referred to as a global-level score.  The interview protocols were scored by the principal investigator who  was  blind to the subjects' grade level and sociometric status. T o assess interrater reliability, a random subset of 2 8 %  (20) protocols was scored independently by a  second rater (trained by reading the manual), not otherwise involved in the study.  Interviewers  The  interviews  students in psychology; Indian and  one  was  were conducted  by  four  female  senior undergraduate  two of the interviewers were Caucasian, one  Oriental.  The  was  East  interviewers were blind to the children's  sociometric status and were ignorant of the purpose and specific hypotheses of the study until a l l data had been collected. The interviewers were crossed with the conditions of grade and  sociometric status:  Three  interviewers tested  - 47 -  children from one  tested  the  Thus, with  the  exception of the latter interviewer, the interviewers tested approximately  the  children  from  grade 2 and  two  one  grade 7 class, one  grade 2 classes and  one  grade 7  interviewer class.  same numbers of children in each grade and sociometric group.  The  interviewers received approximately 20 hours of training over a six  week period. The training, conducted by the principal investigator, consisted of: (a) didactic instruction in the understanding, in conceptions stage, and  in conducting  (b) modeling volunteer (d) two  of  a  child;  (f) feedback  of  interviews  (per  discussion  of  by  the  interview  of  interpersonal  with  conducted  procedures  scoring of test protocols;  principal  interviewer)  practice interviews  and  development  friendship interviews and  (c) roleplay of the  of  the  of friendship understanding for each issue at each  friendship interview  practice  (e) observation  theory  another  with by  and  investigator and team  volunteer  other  skills  team  a  member; children; members;  following  practice  interviews; and (g) independent scoring of practice interview protocols followed by  group discussion and  feedback of appropriate  probing.  Throughout  data  collection, the principal investigator periodically reviewed interview tapes and provided feedback to each interviewer. were conducted on  two  Subsequent to data collection, checks  interviewing skills:  probing  skill and  warmth.  The  number of times per interview that the interviewer failed to appropriately probe (as judged by  the  subject provided reinforcements  principal investigator) an  a measure of probing skill. (eg.  "That  was  a  good  incomplete response given The  by  a  average number of positive  answer", "Okay") expressed  by  the  interviewer to the child during the course of the interview provided a measure of interviewer warmth.  These two  skills were chosen as it was  reasoned  that  - 48 -  failure  to adequately  reliability  probe  and validity  the children's  of the test scores  responses as could  could  undermine the  differences among the  interviewers with respect to their warmth and ability to help the children relax and respond to the best of their ability.  The  interviewers received similar, though less comprehensive, instruction  and practice in administering the Vocabulary and Block Design subtests of the WISC-R.  Training consisted of  subtests;  (a) didactic instruction in administering the  (b) modeling of test administration;  (c) practice in administering the  tests with another team member and with a volunteer child;  and (d) feedback  following practice sessions.  Procedure  Project Approval  Following  project  approval  from  the  university  research  ethics  committee, an application to conduct the research was submitted to the Board of a  local  school  district.  T h e project  was reviewed  and approved  by the  appropriate Board committee. Over a period of several months, this committee introduced the project to school prinicipals. T h e principal investigator met with those principals who expressed an interest in the project to describe the project in detail and answer any questions. 2 and 7 teachers. describe  The principals in turn canvassed their grade  T h e principal investigator then met with each teacher to  the purpose of the project and the procedure.  A l l principals and  teachers contacted at this stage of the process willingly agreed to allow their  - *9 -  students to participate in the study. In return for their participation, the results of the class sociometric  exercise were reviewed with the respective classroom  teachers and principals and teachers received a summary report of the study's findings.  At  the  Board's  suggestion,  a  participating classes was offered as well. this  offer  on  behalf  of  their  classes.  presentation  on  friendship for  Several teachers took advantage of Presentations  were  conducted  approximately two weeks following the completion of data collection.  Sociometric Nominations  The  sociometric  nominations, conducted by the principal investigator,  were administered as a class exercise either in A p r i l of the spring term (two grade 7 classes;  one grade 2 class) or in November of the f a l l term of the next  academic year (two grade 7 classes; classes  were  four grade 2 classes) depending on when  allotted to the project  by  school  personnel.  Following  an  introduction to the project, including an explanation of the confidential nature of the exercise and a standard set of instructions (Appendix B), the children were given a printed roster of the first name and surname initial of their same-sex classmates, listed in two columns. Same-sex peer nominations are recommended and  typically used by most researchers (Asher & Hymel, 1981) as elementary  school children's primary group membership usually consists of same-sex peers and it has been found that for this age-group, cross-sex nominations often exhibit a strong bias against opposite sex peers (Hallinan, 1981; Moreno, 1938; R o f f et al., 1972).  Names on the roster were listed in alphabetical order (by surname  initial) to simplify the exercise rudimentary reading skills.  for grade 2 students, some of whom possess  It was reasoned that as alphabetical listings are  - 50 -  frequently used in the school setting, this ordering of names would enable the children to find their preferred sociometric choices more easily than would a random ordering of names. In accordance with standard sociometric procedures (Connolly, 1983;  Newcombe &  Bukowski, 1983) the children first nominated  three liked peers, then from a second, identical roster, nominated three disliked peers. The exercise took approximately 15 minutes.  Those  children  neglected, and who served as two children who  who  identified  by  their  peers  as  rejected  or  had received parental consent to participate in the study,  groups of subjects.  The  third group of subjects consisted of  were identified by their peers as average or popular (4 of the 24  group members) and who and  were  had received parental consent to participate.  popular children were included in one group for two  reasons.  First, the  purpose of the study was to compare socially unaccepted children, who peer relations, with socially accepted children, who  Average  have poor  have normal peer relations.  Average and popular children were thought to meet this criteria.  Second, the  proportion of children identified as popular by the Newcomb and Bukowski (1983) classification system  is very low.  The proportion of popular children in three  sample populations (n = 334, 173, and 89) ranged from 2.3 to 6.3 percent. Based on this data, it was predicted that the total sample available to this investigation would  not  include sufficient  numbers of popular  children  to satisfy  design  requirements. This prediction was in f a c t born out. O f the total sample of 222 children, a mere 3 %  were identified as popular.  Therefore, it was  include both average and popular children in the normal comparison  decided to  group.  It is believed that grouping the popular- and average-status children would  -51-  not result in a comparison group that differed significantly from  comparison  groups used in other studies. For example, the normal children who  served as the  comparison  identified  group by  Selman  (1976) were  children  who  were  by  teachers as not having severe interpersonal problems. Presumably, this sample included both popular and average children.  Also, recall that investigators who  have used sociometric measures have used a variety of arbitrary cut-off points to distinguish between popular- and average-status children.  Since there is no  standard cut-off point to discriminate these groups, it would be more accurate to think of experimental comparison groups as consisting of children whose status ranges from average to popular, rather than describe these groups as consisting of either popular or average children, as is done.  Interviews  The  interviews, conducted  individually two  to four weeks following the  sociometric testing, took place in a small private room in each school during regular school hours.  The  interviews averaged  k5  minutes.  Within limitations  imposed by class schedules and teacher preferences, the order of grade 2 and grade  7  interviews  interviewer A was  was  counterbalanced  across  interviewers  testing grade 2 students, interviewer B was  (i.e.,  when  testing grade 7  students).  The  Friendship  Understanding  interview  was  conducted  according  to  procedures and guidelines (Appendix C) outlined by Selman (1979). T o summarize these procedures, the child was read a hypothetical story about two friends; boys were read a story with male characters and girls were read a story with female  - 52 -  characters (Appendix  D).  The story was reread upon request or i f the child  appeared confused. The story was followed by a series of standard questions and probes  (Appendix  E).  Questions  transcription and scoring.  and  responses  were  audiotaped  for later  In order to check the accuracy of transcription, a  random subset of 20 protocols was checked by a second reviewer and judged to be accurately transcribed.  The  Friendship  Understandings  administration of the Block Design  Interview  and Vocabulary  was  followed  by  the  subtests of the WISC-R  according to test procedures outlined in the manual (Wechsler, 1974).  - 53 -  Results  Outcome of Sociometric Nominations  Distribution of Status Groups. In the second grade (n = 108), 7 4 % of the children were classified as accepted (includes "popular" and "average" children), 14%  as rejected, and 1 2 % as neglected.  In the seventh grade (n = 114), 7 4 % of  the children were classified as accepted, 1 1 % as rejected, and 1 5 % as neglected. Sociometric  scores were not available for 37 of the 259 students in the total  sample because the nominating groups to which the children belonged did not meet  minimum  criteria  for sociometric  assessment  (see Classification  and  Scoring C r i t e r i a , p. 39).  To provide a check that sociometric status scores were not influenced by the alphabetical ordering of nominees' names, Fisher exact tests of significance were used to test the independence of sociometric  status and listing  order  (nominee's name listed in the first, second, third, or fourth quarter of the roster). Separate tests, conducted for each of the nine classes, were non-significant, £ = .13 to .98, suggesting that sociometric effects.  classifications were not due to order  A s in subsequent analyses, Fisher exact tests of significance were  chosen in preference to chi-square analyses because of small expected cell frequencies  (less than  5)  which hamper meaningful interpretation of the chi-  square test (Ferguson, 1976;  Freeman & Halton, 1951).  Tests of significance  were conducted for each class as nonsignificant test results from an analysis of total sample data could disguise significant differences within classes.  - 5k -  Relationship Between Status and Gender; Status and Race. Fisher exact tests of significance were also used to test the relationship between status and gender, and status and race.  With respect to status and gender, separate tests  conducted for each of six classes (those classes in which both boys and girls participated in the project), were non-significant, 2 = «21 to .79. A test of the combined distribution of the six classes was also non-significant, 2 = .23.  With  respect to status and race, separate tests conducted for each of the six classes were  also non-significant, 2  = .10 to .96 as was  a test of the combined  distribution of the six classes, £ = .38. The results from these analyses indicate that boys and girls, and non-Caucasian children were not disproportionately nominated as rejected or neglected by their peers.  Relationship Between Status and Participation. The number of children who did and did not receive parental consent is given in Table 5. Separate Fisher exact tests of significance conducted for grade 2 and 7 were non-significant, 2 = .71 and .10 respectively, indicating that  accepted, rejected, and  neglected  children were not differentially denied permission to participate.  The number of subjects for which data were collected within each group is given in Table 6. Analyses of sex differences with respect to major hypotheses were not conducted because of the small cell sizes and unequal numbers of boys and girls within each group.  - 55 -  Table  5.  Breakdown of Parental Consent by Grade and Sociometric Status  Sociometric Status  Participation  Accepted  Rejected  Neglected  67  12  12  13  3  1  75  12  14  1  3  Grade 2 Consent No C o n s e n t  0  Grade 7 Consent No Consent  c  9  Includes cases in which consent was denied or consent form was not returned.  - 56 -  Table 6. Group n's by Grade and Sociometric Status.  Sociometric Status  Grade  2 (Boys,Girls) 7 (Boys,Girls)  Accepted  Rejected  Neglected  10  12  (5,5)  (6,6)  (6,3)  14  12  14  (6,8)  (3,9)  (6,8)  9  - 57  Primary  -  Analyses  The  major sets of analyses were conducted  univariate and multivariate analyses of variance.  using two-way fixed factors A s groups contained  unequal  numbers of observations, a complete least squares solution was chosen in which a regression approach was used in the calculation of sums of squares.  The  effect  of the complete least squares approach is to estimate the independent e f f e c t of each factor adjusted for its relationship with all other factors (Overall & Spiegel, 1969). This approach was chosen in preference to an unweighted means analyses because  the  differential  cell  frequencies  were  inherent  to  the  natural  distribution of the classification variable (sociometric status) in the population rather than the result of experimental artifact (Overall & Spiegel, 1969).  Relationship Between Grade, Sociometric Status, and IQ  The  first set of major analyses examined the relationship between the  independent  classification  variables  (grade  and  sociometric status) and  measures of intellectual ability (scores from the Block Design and  the  Vocabulary  subtests of the WISC-R, analyzed as separate test scores and as a combined score to estimate F u l l Scale IQ). Differences among the classification groups on Block Design, Vocabulary, and IQ were tested using separate two way, 2 (grade)x 3 (status), analyses of variance. Means and standard deviations are presented in Table 7.  Bartlett-Box F tests of homogeneity of variance were non-significant  for Block Design, F (5,5088) = .86, £ = .51, Vocabulary, F (5,5088) = 1.31, £ = .26, and IQ scores, F (5,5088) = 1.98, £ = .08.  - 58 -  Table 7. Mean Block Design, Vocabulary, and IQ Scores by Grade and Sociometric Status.  Sociometric Status  Grade  Accepted  Rejected  Neglected  Block Design 2 M  14.30  11.17  13.33  SD  3.27  3.35  4.42  _M  10.71  10.58  11.36  SD  3.52  2.35  2.79  7  Vocabulary 2 M  11.00  9.50  9.00  SD  3.59  3.29  4.47  M  9.29  9.50  8.64  SD  2.30  2.68  2.47  115.50  101.83  106.56  SD  14.65  16.43  23.74  M  99.93  100.25  100.00  SD  15.68  9.33  11.35  7  . IQ 2 M  7  - 59 -  The  analyses of variance yielded a significant main e f f e c t for grade on  Block Design, F (1,65) = 6.74, £ = .01, and IQ scores, F (1,65) = 4.61, £ = .04. There was no significant main e f f e c t for sociometric status on Block Vocabulary, or IQ scores;  Design,  nor were there any significant interaction effects.  There were no significant main effects for grade or sociometric status, nor were there any significant interaction effects on the Vocabulary  scores.  Separate  analyses of variance summary tables for Block Design, Vocabulary, and IQ are given in Table 8.  T h e results of these analyses indicated that there is no  difference among accepted, rejected, and neglected children on word knowledge (vocabulary) at either grade 2 or 7.  There is no diffence among  accepted,  rejected, and neglected children with respect to reasoning ability (Block Design); however, as a group, grade 2 students scored higher than  grade 7 students.  Finally, there is no difference among accepted, rejected, and neglected children with respect to IQ, however, as a group, grade 2 students had a higher IQ (M 107.96) than Grade 7 students  = 100.05).  Given no differences were found  among the three sociometric status groups on any of the intelligence measures, and given the difference in IQ scores between grade 2 and 7 students are not clinically significant (means for both groups fall within average IQ range, _M = 100, SD = 15) despite the statistical significance, intellectual ability measures were  not included  as covariates in subsequent  analyses  examining  group  differences on Friendship Understanding scores.  Relationship Between Friendship Understanding and IQ. Pearson moment  correlations indicated a significant and moderately  between Friendship Understanding  product  high correlation  Score (FUS) and IQ, j_(28) = .44, £ <..02 for  grade 2 data. There was no correlation between F U S and IQ, r_(37) = .29, £ C l O  - 60 -  Table 8. A N O V A Summary Tables for Block Design, Vocabulary, and IQ  Source o f  Sum of  Variation  Squares  df  Mean  F  Square  Block Design Grade  72.53  1  72.53  6.74  .01  Status  38.15  2  19.08  1.77457  .18  Grade X Status  26.69  2  13.34  1.24  .30  698.75  65  10.75  Within C e l l s  Vocabulary Grade  8.24  1  8.24  .86  .36  Status  19.73  2  9.87  1.03  .36  9.58  2  4.79  .50  .61  622.07  65  9.57  Grade X Status Within C e l l s  IQ Grade  1079.80  1  1079.80  4.61  .04  Status  543.38  2  271.69  1.16  .32  Grade X Status  592.58  2  296.29  1.26  .29  15237.57  65  234.42  Within C e l l s  - 61 -  for grade 7 data. R e c a l l that grade 2 students had a significantly higher IQ than grade 7 students. A test of the correlation between FUS 7 combined was not conducted  and IQ for grade 2 and  because the resulting distribution violates the  v  bivariate normal distribution assumption underlying correlational tests.  Relationship  Between  Grade,  Sociometric  Status  and Friendship  Understanding.  The second set of major analyses examined the relationship between grade and status with respect to conceptual level of friendship understanding.  A 2  (grade) x 3 (status) analysis of variance was used to test for differences on F U Group means and standard deviations are presented in Table 9.  scores.  A  Bartlett-Box F test indicated homogeneity of variances, F (5,5088) = 1.96, JJ = .08.  The analysis of variance yielded a significant main e f f e c t for grade, F (1,65)  = 70.68, £ ^.001. The main e f f e c t for sociometric status and interaction e f f e c t s were not significant. The results supported the predicted hypothesis that grade 7 children  would  score  at a  developmentally  higher  level  of friendship  understanding than grade 2 children, however the results did not support the predicted  hypothesis  developmental  that  rejected  and neglected children  would  lag in their friendship understanding compared  with  display a accepted  children.  With respect to range of global stages expressed in response to friendship issues, a 2 (grade) x 3 (status) analysis of variance indicated no significant main effects for grade (M = 1.81 SD = .47 and _M = 1.88, SD = .67 for grade 2 and 7 respectively) or status (M = 1.88, SD = .42;  M - 1.92, SD = .56; _M = 1.74, S D =  - 62 -  Table 9. Mean Friendship Understanding Scores by Grade and Sociometric Status.  Sociometric Status  Grade  Accepted  Rejected  Neglected  2 M SD  1.51  1.57  1.57  .37  .20  .42  2.38  2.44  2.40  .53  .45  .46  7 M SD  - 63 -  .74  for accepted, rejected and  interaction e f f e c t .  neglected  status, respectively) or  Separate analysis of variance summary tables for F U  and range of stage scores are given in Table  Checks  on  significant  Interviewer  10.  Behavior.  conducted to provide a check that F U  scores  Two  preliminary  analyses  were  scores were not confounded by differences  in interviewing skills among the four interviewers. Separate one-way analyses of variances were conducted on two  measures:  the number of times per interview  that the interviewer failed to appropriately probe an unscoreable or ambiguous response given by a subject and the average number of positive  reinforcements  expressed by the interviewer to the child during the course of the interview. These analyses were conducted on interviewer.  The  a random subset  of 12  test protocols  per  results indicated there were no significant differences among  the four interviewers with respect to adequate probing, F_ (3, 44) = .12, £ > .05 or positive reinforcements  given, F  (3, 44) = 1.48, £ > . 0 5 .  Separate analysis of  variance summary tables are given in Table 11.  Interscorer  Reliability.  Interscorer  Understanding test protocols were satisfactory. correlation  between  FU  scores  assigned  reliabilities The  of  Friendship  Pearson Product Moment  independently  by  two  scorers on  a  random subset of 20 interviews was .92 which falls within the .87 to .97 range for correlation of Interpersonal Understanding Scores (the average of issue scores across all interpersonal domains (i.e., individual, friendship, group, parent-child) reported in a number of studies (Gurucharri, Phelps, & Selman, 1984). For global stage scores (using major/minor stage differentiations, e.g., 3(2)), interscorer  - 64 -  Table 10. A N O V A Summary Tables for Friendship Understanding and Range of Reasoning  Source o f  Sum of  Variation  Squares  df  Mean  F_  JJ  Square  Friendship Understanding Grade  12.80  1  12.80  70.69  Status  .05  2  .02  .13  .88  Grade X Status  .01  2  .00  .02  .98  11.78  65  .18  Within C e l l s  .001  Range of Understanding Grade  .10  1  .10  .27  .61  Status  .36  2  .18  .49  .61  Grade X Status  .59  2  .29  .79  .46  24.19  65  .37  Within C e l l s  - 65 -  Table 11. A N O V A Summary Tables for Probes and Positive Reinforcement  Source of  Sum of  Variation  Squares  df  Mean  F  Square  Probes  .56  3  .19  Within Interviewers  66.88  44  1.52  Total  67.44  Between Interviewers  .12  £  >.05  Positive Reinforcements Between Interviewers  .05  3  .01  Within Interviewers  .51  44  .01  Total  .57  1.48  JJ) .05  - 66  -  agreement within 1 point (major/minor scores range from 0, 0(1), 1(0), 2(1) to 4(3), 4 on a 13 point scale) was  89%.  Relationship Between Grade, Sociometric Status, and Six Friendship Issues  The final set of major analyses examined the relationship between grade and  status with  respect  to group conceptions  friendship formation, closeness and conflict resolution and  the  six friendship issues:  intimacy, trust and  reciprocity, jealousy,  friendship termination.  of  The  six friendship issues are  highly and significantly correlated with each other and with the overall F U  score  (the correlation matrix for these seven variables is given in Table 12). Scores on the six friendship issues were subjected to a 2 (grade) x 3 (status) multivariate analysis of variance.  D a t a from  seven subjects (1 rejected and  2 neglected  seventh grade students and 2 accepted, 1 rejected and 1 neglected second-grade students) were not included in the analysis because of missing data.  These  subjects failed to give scoreable responses to one or two of the friendship issues. Subsequent cell sizes for accepted, rejected, and neglected children were 8, 11, and 8 for grade 2 and 14, 11, and 12 for grade 7.  Means and standard deviations  by grade and status for each of the six friendship issues are given in Table 13.  The Box-M test of homogeneity of variance was significant, ]? (105, 3980) =  1.35, p_ = .01.  When a significant Box-M indicates heterogenous variances  across groups, interpretations of significant interactions cannot be made as such interactions involve comparisons among cells of substantially different sizes; however, interpretation of main effects is still considered feasible (Winer, 1971). Given  the  outcome  encountered.  of  the  analysis, problems  of  interpretation  were  not  - 67 -  Table 12. Intercorrelations between Friendship Understanding Scores (FUS) and Friendship Issue Scores. FUS  Formation  Closeness  Trust  Jeal ousy  FUS Formation  .86  Closeness  .86  .73  Trust  .83  .65  .74  Jealousy  .60  .39  .37  .50  Conflict  .75  .53  .64  .52  ..24*  Termination  .76  .66  .50  .52  .56  * £ <C,.05. A l l other coef ficients, £ <,.001.  C o n f l i c t Termination  - 68 Table  13.  Mean Friendship Issue Scores by Grade and Sociometric Status.  Sociometric Status  Grade  Accepted  Rejected  Neglected  Friendship F o r m a t i o n 2 M  1.33  1.21  1.46  .40  .34  .53  2.14  2.06  2.45  .63  .66  .43  1.71  1.67  1.79  .70  .70  .50  2.36  2.46  2.81  .56  .62  .36  1.58  1.70  1.58  .56  .35  .55  2.21  2.36  2.25  .46  .69  .51  SD 7 M SD  Closeness 2 M SD 7 M SD  Trust 2  M SD 7 M SD  - 69 -  Table 13. (continued) Mean Friendship Issue Scores Scores by Grade and Sociometric Status.  Sociometric Status  Grade  Accepted  Rejected  Neglected  Jealousy 2 M  1.96  1.91  1.88  .56  .30  .35  2.60  2.67  2.33  .49  .58  .86  1.71  1.36  1.42  .70  .99  .94  2.60  2.51  2.75  .54  .60  .32  1.17  1.55  1.75  .36  .48  .46  2.83  2.67  2.53  .77  .65  .75  SD 7 M SD  Conflict 2  M SD 7 M SD  Termination 2 M SD 7 M SD  - 70 -  Results from the multivariate analysis yielded a significant main e f f e c t for grade on each of the six friendship issues.  There were no significant status  or interaction effects. The multivariate analysis of variance summary table, and the univariate analysis of variance summary table for the main e f f e c t of grade on the six friendship issues, are given in Tables 14 and 15, respectively.  Results  of this analysis supported the prediction that grade 7 subjects would score at a developmentally higher level of friendship understanding than grade 2 subjects but failed to support the prediction that rejected and neglected children would display a developmental lag in their understanding of specific friendship issues, such as formation and conflict resolution, compared with accepted children.  - 71 Table 14. MANOVA Summary Table for Friendship Issue Scores  Source of Variation  U-Statistic  df  Approximate F Statistic  £  Grade  .37  1  14.95  .001  Status  .78  2  1.18  .31  Grade X Status  .85  2  .77  .68  -72 -  Table 15. A N O V A Summary Table for Main E f f e c t of Grade on Friendship Issues  Variable  Sum of Squares  Formation  16.01  Closeness  df  1,58  Mean Square  F  £  .28  43.28  .001  19.46  .34  30.53  .001  Trust  15.80  .27  24.18  .001  Jealousy  18.58  .32  18.31  .001  Conflict  28.09  .48  39.97  .001  Termination  22.74  .39  55.28  .001  - 73 -  Discussion  Major Hypotheses Hypothesis 1; Grade and Friendship Understanding As  hypothesized, conceptions of friendship  held by  grade  7  children  represented higher stages of cognitive development than conceptions held by grade 2 students. (1976) who  This finding is consistent with  results obtained by Selman  reports stage of interpersonal understanding to increase with age, and  with results obtained by Pellegrini (1985) who  found a significant correlation of  .35 between interpersonal understanding stage scores and age. provides support  for the  hierarchical, sequential nature  This finding also  of  social-cognitive  development as described by structural developmental theorists (e.g., Kohlberg, 1981;  Piaget, 1970;  Selman, 1980).  Hypothesis 2: Sociometric Status and Friendship Understanding The" hypothesis that compared rejected  and  neglected children  with their socially accepted  would display a developmental  agemates,  lag in their  general understandings of friendship was not supported. There was no difference in stage of friendship understanding among the three groups of children. finding differs from  results obtained by Selman (1976) and  Pellegrini  These  found  of  researchers  a  relationship  between  level  This  (1985).  interpersonal  understanding and social maladjustment in elementary school-aged children.  Selman (1976) found that a clinical population of children with poor peer relations reasoned at a significantly lower stage of interpersonal understanding than peers sampled from a normal population. The present study did not find a  _ 74 -  similar difference between children from a normal population who relations and may  their socially accepted classmates.  had poor peer  Methodological differences  account for the dissimilar findings.  In the Selman (1976) study, subjects' stage of interpersonal understanding was  derived from averaging scores on each of the four domains of interpersonal  relations:  Individuals, friendship, peer group, and  parent-child.  only conceptions of friendship were assessed as it was  In this study,  reasoned that conceptions  relating to this context of interpersonal relations would be most relevant to the problems of children who interview  have difficulty relating to peers, and as the friendship  provides the most reliable data of the four domains (Selman, 1980).  Moreover, development across  contexts of interpersonal  relations as well  as  across domains of social reasoning (i.e., perspective-taking, moral reasoning) are thought to be structurally parallel, that is, develop in close synchrony (Selman, 1976, 1980).  While it is possible that the reasoning of clinic-referred children or that of rejected and neglected children is desynchronous across the four interpersonal domains, it would be surprising to find marked differences across the domains within  individuals.  Theoretically  performance of the two  it  is  unlikely  samples of children was  that  the  difference  due to scores derived from  in one  versus four of the interpersonal domains. However, an empirical test would be required to rule out this assumption.  In the Selman study, clinic children were matched with normal children from public schools by age  (within four months), socioeconomic status, gender,  - 75 -  race, and  intelligence (within 10 IQ  points).  Matching procedures were  not  undertaken in this study as the three groups of children were sampled from the same population.  However, there was  no age overlap between the younger and  older groups of children, the children a l l came from schools located within  one  socioeconomic region of the city, and findings indicated there was no association between gender or race and group sociometric status. Although statistically the grade 2 sub-sample had higher IQ's than the grade 7 sub-sample, group means were within 10 points and intelligence.  Rejected  both groups had  and  neglected  IQ's  within the average range of  children were as  intelligent  as  their  socially adjusted peers which is consistent with Selman's finding that clinic and normal children were equally skilled at Piagetian cognitive tasks, i.e., despite the  lag in social  cognitive development, the  logically as their peers.  clinic  children could  think  as  For these reasons it is believed that differences in  matching procedures does not adequately account for the findings.  The  administration  understanding  measure  is a  and  scoring  third  methodological  contributed to the dissimilar findings. measures were administered  and  of  the  interpersonal/friendship  difference that  may  have  In the Selman study, the interpersonal  scored by experts.  (In the Pellegrini,  1985,  study, interviewers and scorers were trained by Selman's research associates.) In this study, the interviews and scoring were conducted by inexperienced, manualtrained individuals. However, the interscorer reliability obtained in this study is comparable to reliabilities reported stage of reasoning was  in the previous  studies and  the subjects'  consistent with levels of reasoning expressed by normal  children of the same age in the Selman study.  For these reasons, it is believed  the friendship understanding measure as used in this study is reliable.  - 76 -  One  explanation  psychological  problems  of the inconsistent experienced  by  findings  clinic  is that  children  are  whereas the severe,  the  psychological problems experienced by children from normal school populations are not, even though both groups have difficulties relating to peers.  Although  some individual isolates in this study showed low to average stage conceptions for  their age, as a group, their reasoning was well within age-norm  levels  (Selman, 1980; Selman et al., 1977) and as just mentioned, was consistent with levels of reasoning expressed by the normal children in Selman's (1976) study. Selman's clinic children, however, reasoned a full two stages below that of their peers. T h e learning, emotional, and social problems of these children had been severe enough to have them placed in a special clinic school. Y e t some clinic children performed  as well as or better than their normal peers, which led  Selman (1976) to infer that mature interpersonal understanding is necessary but not sufficient f o r satisfactory  interpersonal  relations.  T h e age-appropriate  performance of the rejected and neglected children in the present study provides further support for this conclusion.  An  alternative  explanation of the failure  to find  differences  among  rejected, neglected, and accepted children as expected, is that the model of Interpersonal  Understanding  and/or  the measurement  of  understanding is  insensitive to group differences in the absence of severe departures from normal development.  O r perhaps the model lacks ecological validity; that is, it bears  little immediate relation to the social behavior, or general social adjustment, of most children who have problems interacting with peers. In recognition of this possibility, Selman (1976) has stated, "The structural-developmental approach may have little relevance to psychological analyses of specific social actions.  - 77 -  Developmental angle  lens  social-conceptual stages evolve over years... If...we...use a wideto  view  social-cognitive  development,  ...specific  behavioral  observations made with a microscope cannot be expected to relate meaningfully to social-cognitive stages."  (p. 184)  It is also reasonable to assume that  how  children act in social situations is not indicative of their reasoning abilities; other  psychological (eg., a f f e c t i v e  responses  situational (eg., peer pressure) factors may study, socially incompetent choices of their peers. peer  evaluation of  A  his  such  as  anger,  anxiety)  also influence behavior.  and  In this  children were selected according to the sociometric child's sociometric status is determined, in part, by or  her  behavior.  Though  interrelated,  sociometric status, mature social cognitive development, and behavior are not equivalent. It may peer sociometric nominations, and  accepted  e f f e c t i v e social  be that social competence, as assessed by social cognition, as assessed by  stage of  interpersonal understanding, are too far removed from one another to expect a significant relationship. Fortunately, needed research examining the relationship between social cognition and social behavior in populations of clinic and normal children,  with  and  without  social  difficulties,  investigators (e.g., Renshaw 3c Asher, 1983;  is  being  undertaken  Rubin 3c Clark, 1983;  by  Selman 3c  Demorest, 1984; Selman, et al., 1983).  Whereas  Pellegrini  (1985) found  correlations  between  interpersonal  understanding and peer assessments of social competence in a normal population, this study did not find any relationship between friendship understanding peer sociometric status. number of related factors.  The  dissimilar findings may  be accounted  and  for by  a  - 78 -  F i r s t , the two  studies were designed to address related, but distinct,  questions. The Pellegrini study examined individual differences on a number of variables associated with social competence whereas this study examined group differences.  Intuitively, one would expect to find a relationship between an  individual's social reasoning ability and other indices of his or her interpersonal functioning, as Pellegrini found. However, results from this study indicate that as a group, rejected and neglected children do not differ from  their better  adjusted peers in their understanding of friendship.  Second,  different  peer  measures  analyses were used in the two studies. was  of social  adjustment  children's friendships (Asher & Hymel, 1981).  A  specifically concerned with peer assessment measure  used in the Pellegrini study as that investigation was  accepted,  in general.  rejected,  respectively. two  and  Both  different  A peer sociometric nomination measure  used in this study as the investigation was  competence  and  measures  neglected; and,  identify  concerned with social  three groups  positive,  was  disruptive,  of  children:  and  isolated,  The simplest explanation of the different results obtained in the  studies is that these measures identify different populations of socially  competent  and  incompetent  children.  Research  comparing  the populations  identified by the various sociometric measures and the various peer assessment measures is needed.  Until such studies are undertaken to determine the degree  of overlap in selected populations, interpretation of results across studies will continue to be ambiguous.  F r o m a research point of view, the Revised Class Play (Masten et al., 1984) offers a number of distinct advantages over peer sociometric measures.  - 79 -  F i r s t , the Revised Class Play yields a continuous score for each child on each of the three dimensions. and  The  peer sociometric measure yields three independent  exclusive categorical classifications.  The  scoring procedure of the  Play has the e f f e c t of increasing variability inherent in the sample. One  Class  hundred  children participated in the Pellegrini study. Since each subject received three competency  scores, each  observations. fixed  each  cell  n's.  groups,  Seventy-one children, classified into one  participated  in  this  100  dependent variable involved  In contrast, categorical classifications yield analyses  group or  sociometric  analysis of  study.  Thus  analyses  based of  on  three  involved  significantly smaller jVs than in the Pellegrini study.  A  second advantage of the Revised  Class Play measure relative to the  sociometric classification measure is that the interval level data of the former measure allows fine-grain analyses of relationships between the independent and dependent variables, which the nominal level data of the latter measure does not.  For  example, Pellegrini's finding that  low  interpersonal understanding  scores and  high IQ scores are associated with particularly high isolation scores  would not  be  detected  using a sociometric  categorical scheme because this  approach does not distinguish degrees of status within one sociometric category.  A  third advantage of the Class Play measure is that i t provides  information  about  the  behavior  or  children, as perceived by their peers. behavioral likeability.  or  characteristics of  fact,  with  incompetent  Peer selections are based on a number of  role descriptions rather In  socially  more  sociometric  than a  single criterion  nominations, neglected  identified by virtue of not being mentioned by peers.  of friendship children  are  Of the four most common  - 80 -  categories of social status (popular, average, rejected, and  neglected), peer  sociometric nominations are least robust in identifying neglected status children (Newcomb & Bukowski, 1983).  The  primary  sociometric  disadvantage  nomination  of  measures  the  is  Class  that  the  Play  measure  reliability,  relative  validity,  to and  psychometric properties of sociometric tests are well documented, unlike the Bower Class Play measure. Even less information about the newly Revised Class Play measure is available to researchers.  In summary, sociometric nomination procedures offer a distinct advantage over the original Bower (1960) Class Play measure as the latter measure fails to discriminate between subgroups of socially isolated children. The Revised Class Play measure (Masten et al., 1984) may  prove to be more useful to researchers,  for  nominations.  some purposes, than  reliability and comparing  sociometric  validity of the  the  populations  Class Play identified  by  Research examining  the  measure is needed, as is research these  two  measures  of  social  competency.  Several  other  findings  reported  in  Selman's  Pellegrini's (1985) study are relevant to results obtained include  the  relationship between  (a)  social  (1976) study  and/or  in this study.  These  competency  and  interpersonal  understanding, (b) interpersonal understanding and IQ, and (c) social competency and  IQ.  Social  Competency  and  Interpersonal  Understanding.  In  normal  populations, both Selman and Pellegrini found significant correlations between  - 81 -  peer assessment scores and patterns  of  interpersonal understanding scores.  correlations  Unfortunately  for  obtained  purposes  of  in  the  comparison  two and  studies possible  are  However, the inconsistent.  clarification,  this  particular analysis could not be conducted with the data available in this study. The  sociometric measure used yields nominal data, unlike the peer assessment  measure in the other studies which yields interval data.  Selman found no correlation between positive peer assessment scores and interpersonal understanding scores but found a significant, moderate correlation between negative peer assessment scores and interpersonal understanding scores (r = -.30).  In contrast, Pellegrini found a significant, moderate correlation  between positive peer assessment scores and interpersonal understanding (r - .42) but  found  no  correlation  between  negative  peer  assessment  scores  and  interpersonal understanding.  The discrepancy in the relationship between negative peer assessment and interpersonal understanding is likely due to a methodological difference. studies used the Bower Class Play (Bower, 1960; a peer assessment of social competency;  Both  revised 1969, 1981) measure as  but different versions were  used.  Selman used the 1960 version (20 items: 10 positive and 10 negative social roles) which yields a positive and a negative peer score. version (30 items: positive (based on  15 positive and  Pellegrini used a modified  15 negative social roles) which yields a  15 items), disruptive (7 items), and isolated (7 items) peer  score (Masten, Morison, & Pellegrini, 1984). It seems reasonable to assume that the group of children who might have been comprised  received negative peer scores in the Selman study of "disruptive" and "isolated" children.  Although  - 82 -  Pellegrini did not find a significant correlation between negative peer scores and interpersonal understanding scores, he did find a significant moderate correlation (r = -.53) between isolated peer scores and interpersonal understanding.  The  correlation between negative peer assessment and interpersonal understanding found in the Selman study may  have been due primarily to the performance  of a  subgroup of isolate children.  It  should  also  be  noted  that  unambiguous  interpretation  of  the  relationships between peer assessment and interpersonal understanding reported in the Pellegrini (1985) study is hampered by a methodological weakness in the study.  The  peer  interpersonal  assessment data was  understanding  data.  collected  10-15  Despite evidence  months prior to the  that peer  reputation is  relatively stable, i t is likely that peer perceptions of some of the children had changed from one school year to the next and from one peer group to the next.  The  collective results from the two studies suggest that children whose  behavior is described as isolated by their peers, are likely to have immature conceptions of interpersonal relationships. Children whose behavior is positively evaluated  by  peers  are  likely  to have  mature  conceptions of  interpersonal  relationships.  Interpersonal Understanding  and IQ.  Research  evidence indicates that  mature conceptions of interpersonal relations are related to general intellectual ability.  Both Selman (1976) and Pellegrini (1985) found a positive, moderate  correlation  (r =  .49, £  =  .01  and  interpersonal understanding and IQ.  r_ =.57,  £  =  .001,  This result was  respectively) between  partially replicated in the  - 83 -  present study.  A  positive, moderate correlation (r = .44, £ = .02) was  between friendship understanding and IQ, but only for second grade  found  subjects.  There was no correlation between friendship understanding and IQ for seventhgrade subjects.  The  inconsistent  pattern of relationships found  between  second-  and  seventh-grade and the subsequent failure to fully replicate the results obtained in  the  other  performance deviations  two  studies, does not  of the grade 7 subjects.  for Block  appear The  to be  due  to the  intellectual  grade 7 group means and standard  Design, Vocabulary, and  estimated  Full  Scale IQ  are  consistent with standardized test norms (Wechsler, 1974) and with group means obtained by Pellegrini (1985). Although the mean IQ for both groups (107 and 100 for grades 2 and 7, respectively) fell within the average range of intellectual ability, as a group the grade 2 students had a higher IQ than the grade 7 students. The difference in IQ is due to the above average performance  of the second-  graders on the Block Design test (see Table 7 p. 58). It is possible that the IQ data obtained in this study is unreliable because of the relative inexperience of the interviewers in test administration.  However if this were true, unusual  scores for both groups on both subtests would be expected. the case, the IQ data is believed to be reliable.  The  Since this was  not  elevated Block Design  scores are believed to reflect the above average abstract reasoning ability of this particular sample of second-graders.  If  the  intellectual  ability  of  the  grade  2  subjects in this  study is  exceptional, then the correlation found between friendship understanding and IQ may  not generalize to other populations. Perhaps the results of this study would  - 84 -  not even partially replicate Selman's and Pellegrini's findings had a larger, or different, sample of children been assessed.  It would be premature to draw any conclusions about  the relationship  between friendship understanding and intellectual ability based on the limited data provided by this study.  Not a l l facets of social cognition (perspective-  taking, for instance) directly correlate with intellectual ability (Selman, 1976). Even though a general measure of conceptions of interpersonal role relations may correlate with general intellectual ability, a measure of one domain, such as friendship understanding, may not.  Social Competency and IQ.  Research consistently indicates a relationship  between social competence and academic achievement.  F o r example, Green,  Beck, Forehand, and Vosk (1980) found that normal children (teacher and peer nominated) had higher academic scores than Evidence  disliked or withdrawn  children.  indicating a relationship between social competence (as assessed by  peers) and IQ is not as consistent.  T h e limited data available suggests that  average or above average intellectual ability is not necessarily associated with satisfactory peer relations.  Rubin p_  and Daniels-Beirness (1984) found a modest correlation (r = .40,  .001) between  intellectual  ability  (assessed  by  the Peabody  Picture  Vocabulary Test) and sociometric status among preschoolers. However, scores from this vocabulary test are not comparable to IQ scores and should not be used as a measure of general intelligence (Sattler, 1982). In the present study, there was no difference in IQ scores among accepted, rejected, and neglected children,  - 85 -  at either grade. This finding is consistent with Bower's (1980) data.  He reports  that in general, emotionally handicapped children (children who have problems relating to peers, learning difficulties, etc.) score lower than normals on group administered  IQ tests, but not on individually  administered  tests like the  Stanford-Binet or Wechsler batteries.  Pellegrini (1985) examined the relationship between social competency and IQ.  R e c a l l that social competency was assessed by peers, using a modified  version of Bower's Class Play. IQ was estimated using the Vocabulary  and Block  Design subtests of the WISC-R. Pellegrini found that IQ was not correlated with disruptive behavior scores which is consistent with Bower's report. However, he did find a positive and modest correlation (r = .20, £ = .01) between IQ and positive  peer  assessment  scores.  He  also found  a negative  and moderate  correlation (r = -.48, £ = .001) between IQ and isolated peer assessment scores. However,  multiple  regression  analyses  between interpersonal understanding competency. average  revealed  an  associated  with  interaction  and IQ with respect to peer assessed social  Immature interpersonal understanding  IQ, was  interesting  particularly  in conjunction with above  high  peer  isolation  scores.  Pellegrini speculates that this pattern suggests a child "who lacks social 'knowhow' despite adequate intelligence. Cognitive 'decalage' of this kind may result in self-doubt and tentativeness in initiating social contact." (p. 262)  Whereas Pellegrini found a relationship between social competency and IQ, this study did not.  There was no difference in IQ scores among accepted,  rejected, and neglected children at either grade.  Differences between the two  studies (i.e., a focus on individual versus group differences) may account for  - 86 -  findings.  Hypothesis 3; Sociometric Status and Friendship Issues The rejected  hypothesis that and  neglected  conceptions of  compared  children  with their socially accepted  agemates,  would display a developmental lag in their  specific friendship  issues, such  as  friendship  formation  and  conflict resolution, was not supported. Rejected and neglected children were not immature in their thinking about how  to make friends or how  to resolve conflicts  between friends. This result is different from, but not inconsistent with, other studies which have found unpopular children to be  less knowledgeable about  friendship making (e.g., Gottman et al., 1975) and conflict resolution strategies, and less skilled in social situations than popular children.  Renshaw and  Asher (1983) conclude that social knowledge  between high- and low-status children are subtle.  differences  Studies consistently find that  the most common friendship making strategies offered by popular children are also offered by unpopular children. However, popular children are able to offer more sophisticated strategies as well as a wider variety of strategies.  In the  Gottman et a l . (1975) study, strategies suggested by children were differentially weighted based on pilot data which indicated that children tend to proceed in a fixed sequence of increasingly sophisticated behaviors when making friends. for  example, a  offering  suggestion  information  was  to greet given  an  four  unknown child points.  was  Unpopular  So,  given one  point;  children  scored  significantly lower than popular children. That is, the low status children tended to suggest appropriate less e f f e c t i v e .  strategies, but strategies that were simpler  and  perhaps  L i k e the unpopular children in these studies, the rejected  and  - 87 -  neglected  children  in this  friendship  formation.  study  Despite  expressed  age-appropriate  this conceptual  knowledge  of  maturity, it is theoretically  possible that they, like the low status children in other studies, are unable to generate as many, or as effective, strategies as accepted children.  Since the  stage of friendship  particular  understanding  measure  does not  assess these  aspects of social knowledge, speculations that such differences exist cannot be confirmed or refuted with the available data.  Other  researchers who  studied the behavioral correlates of sociometric  status have found that low status children are less successful in their attempts to join peer groups (Dodge et al., 1982) and are less skillful in resolving negative interactions (Asarnow, 1983).  However, a previously discussed, social behavior  does not necessarily reflect social cognitive ability (Furman, 1984;  Selman,  1980). Therefore, this study's finding that rejected and neglected children are as mature as their peers in their reasoning about  making friends and  resolving  conflicts is not incongruent with previous studies which have found behavioral differences between high and low status children. While one might predict that the behavior of the isolates in this study is less skillful in some social situations than  that of their  peers, the  possibility  remains  that  their  behavior is as  e f f e c t i v e as, or even more e f f e c t i v e than, their peers'.  Summary of Major Findings  Conceptions of friendship held by older children in the study represented higher stages of social cognitive development than conceptions held by younger children.  Unlike clinic populations of socially maladjusted  the  children,  - 88 -  conceptions of friendship  held by  the normal school population of socially  rejected and neglected children in this study were as mature as conceptions held by their socially accepted peers. T h e i r difficulties in relating to peers does not seem to be related to a developmental role relations. children  The age-appropriate performance of the rejected and neglected  supports  understanding  lag in their understanding of friendship  Selman's  is necessary  (1976)  conclusion  but not sufficient  that  mature  interpersonal  for satisfactory  interpersonal  relations.  There was no difference in the intellectual ability of accepted, rejected, and neglected children.  In general, research indicates that average  or above  average intellectual ability is not necessarily associated with satisfactory peer relations. Some studies have found a positive relationship between IQ and stage of interpersonal understanding.  The relationship between IQ and the friendship  domain of interpersonal understanding is less clear.  In this study, a positive  correlation between these two variables was found for the grade 2 subjects, but not for grade 7 subjects.  Finally, conceptions  of specific  friendship  issues, such  as friendship  formation and conflict resolution held by rejected and neglected children were as mature as conceptions held by their  peers.  It was  suggested  that  mature  interpersonal conceptions do not exclude the possibility that other differences in social cognition between these groups may  exist, or that mature understanding  results in skillful and e f f e c t i v e social behavior.  One  implication  of the finding  that  socially  rejected  and neglected  - 89 -  children do not lag behind  their  peers in their  friendship, is that unlike clinic populations,  conceptual  reasoning  intervention programs f o r these  children need not target interpersonal understanding as a primary goal.  about  That is not to say that a social reasoning  therapeutic  enrichment component of a  treatment package may not enhance overall treatment outcome.  Discussion of  friendship issues at a level consistent with the child's own reasoning, and at the next  developmental  competence clinicians.  skills.  stage,  may  Research  facilitate  the acquisition of other  social  testing these assumptions would be useful to  If rejected and neglected  children are mature in their conceptions  about social relations as the results of this study indicate, perhaps if isolate children do have social cognitive deficits, these are related to social problem solving skills.  This speculation would be consistent with Spivack and Shure's  (1982)  that  report  interpersonal problem  socially  maladjusted  children  have  deficits  in some  solving skills, and with Pellegrini's (1985) finding that  Means-End Problem Solving scores accounted for more of the variance in social competence  abilities  among  grade  school  children  than  did Interpersonal  Understanding scores. Perhaps with respect to social cognition, a primary target of interventions f o r rejected and neglected problem solving skills.  children should  be interpersonal  Again, research specifically testing these hypotheses is  needed.  This  study's contribution  to further  understanding of the thinking of  rejected and neglected children may have been enhanced had multiple aspects of social cognitive abilities (e. g., a l l domains of interpersonal understanding and interpersonal-problem-solving Unfortunately,  research  skills)  resources  been  assessed  did not permit  such  and a  compared.  comprehensive  - 90 -  undertaking. Nor did the sampling distribution allow for examination of gender differences among social status groups, an issue generally ignored in this area of research.  Future Research  Some of the kinds of research needed in the near future have already been mentioned, for example: social  cognition and  Studies examining  social  behavior  the links or mediators  in normal-, rejected-, and  between  neglecte^-  populations; studies comparing populations identified by the various measures used  to assess social  competence; treatment  outcome studies assessing the  e f f i c a c y of social cognitive therapy singly, or in conjunction with other types of interventions; and studies examining between genders.  social-cognitive and behavioral differences  Investigators are also calling for research with a broadened  perspective of the child's social world (Berndt, 1983; research  of peer  status within the  context  of  Ladd, 1984).  social  networks  Although  within  the  classroom or school setting has been fruitful, this base needs to be expanded to include other dimensions of the child's complex social world, such as networks of non-school peers and non-school settings. Moreover, L a d d (1984) emphasizes the need  to determine  the  value  and  purpose  of  separate  networks  and  their  interrelationships as they contribute to the development of social adjustment or maladjustment.  Finally, despite the recent interest in the plight of neglected children, a firm hold on the nature of their social difficulties continues to elude the grasp of investigators.  Unlike their rejected peers, who  are clearly distinguishable from  - 91 other groups of children by their aggressive behavior, neglected children are not clearly distinguishable by their behavior with the exception of observations that they tend to refrain from interacting with peers.  Perhaps for some of these  children, this is by choice; for most one would assume this is an unhappy state of affairs. Nor has research provided convincing evidence that these children differ significantly from accepted or rejected children on the basis of social cognitive abilities.  If the definitive problem experienced by these children is neither  behavioral nor cognitive, perhaps it is primarily affective.  It may be that  neglected children have adequate social knowledge and skill to be socially effective, but are inhibited, say, by anxiety and low self-efficacy, from applying their skills.  Research supporting or refuting hypotheses based on these  speculations may help tighten our tenuous grasp on the problems experienced by these children.  - 92 -  F o o t n o t e s  1.  A s defined by Chandler knowledge cognition  about  and Boyes (1982), social cognition "deals with  the knowledge  "concerns  the efforts  of others" and the study of social  process  scientists  of children  to  as they  of social understand  something  of the knowing  attempt  to  understand  what is known by others" (p. 387). Kendall (1982) further  explains that physical and logical-mathematical cognitive events such as impersonal  problem-solving, are excluded  from  definitions  of social  cognition.  2.  Those children who were not participating in the study were then either taken aside by the teacher or instructed to do some quiet reading at their desks.  3.  A l l papers were then collected and a second identical list was distributed.  4.  During the exercise, the administrator circulated among the children to answer questions and check that instructions were being followed.  -93-  References  Asarnow, 3. (1983). Children with peer adjustment problems: Sequential and nonsequential analyses of school behaviours. Journal of Consulting and C l i n i c a l Psychology, 51, 709-717. Asarnow, J., & C a l l a n , J. (1985). Boys with peer adjustment problems: Social cognition processes. Journal of Consulting and C l i n i c a l Psychology, 53, 80-87. Asher, S., 6c Hymel, S. (1981). 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The shy child.  New  York:  McGraw-Hill.  London:  101  Appendix A Introductory Letter to Parents and Consent Form.  Dear Parent: The U B C Department of Psychology is sponsoring a project entitled Children's Views of Friendship which is to be conducted at your child's school. The project is concerned with the development of children's understanding of friendship and we would like to ask your permission for your child to participate. Friendships play an important part in a child's development and are particularly important during the school years. Some children have more difficulty making friends than others. In fact, it has been estimated that 5 to 1 0 % of school age children do not have one close friend. Understandably, school and school work can become quite difficult for the child who does not have a supportive group of friends. F o r these psychologists in friends. T o do different ages,  reasons, we are interested in working with teachers and school developing programs for helping such children make and maintain this, we need a better understanding of children's views, at of what friendship means to them.  There are three steps in the project. F i r s t , to give us an understanding of existing friendship patterns within the class, we would like to confidentially ask your child who he or she is friends with and who he or she is not friends with. Next, he or she would be asked to complete a vocabulary inventory (to assess his or her verbal level of understanding) and a block puzzle game (to assess general reasoning strategies). A s the results from these two assessments may be of some educational benefit, these scores will be made available to the school. Finally, we would like to ask your child about f r i e n d s h i p — w h a t friendship means to him or her, how friends help each other, why friends might argue or disagree, etc. Responses about friendship will be recorded on tape for later review. It should be noted that our interest is in the general nature of children's understanding of friendships. Therefore, we look at children as a group and do not " t e s t " individual children, although they will participate individually. It is our experience that children enjoy participating in such projects. We respect their wishes concerning whether or not they wish to participate and consult with the classroom teacher to find a suitable time for a particular child to leave the regular classroom activities for approximately 30 minutes. Children are free to leave the session at any time i f they do not wish to continue; such withdrawal would, of course, have no influence on class standing. A s already noted, we are interested in children as a group and as such would find i t very helpful i f a l l , or most, of the children in your child's class would participate. It would be greatly appreciated if you would complete the attached  103  I  , acknowledge receipt of (parent or guardian) a letter informing me of the "Children's Views of Friendship" project to be conducted by Mrs. Sandra Bichard and I do / do not (circle one) give my consent for my child, (child's name) to participate.  (signature)  (date)  ,  - 104 -  Appendix B Introduction of Project and Sociometric Nomination Exercise to Students  Introduction My  name is Mrs. Bichard.  things that I'm learning about at my some people who  are helping me,  I'm  from the University of B.C.  school is children's friendship.  One  of the  Myself, and  are visiting different schools in the city and  talking to students about friendship. I was hoping some of you would help us out and talk to us about your ideas about friendship.  You  may  volunteer to be in our project if you l i k e — a s long as you have  your parent's permission. You do not have to be in the project if you don't want to. Do you have any questions? 2  I am  going to hand out some papers and will ask you to tell me  class you are friends with, and who that what you tell me  who  in your  you are not friends with. It's very important  is kept confidential. That means when you're doing it you  shouldn't say any names out loud, you shouldn't look at anyone else's paper, and afterwards, when we're a l l finished, you shouldn't tell anyone else what you put down. It's important to keep your work confidential because it's important for the project that you put down what you think, and not what someone else thinks, and because we want to make sure no one's feelings get hurt because you didn't put down the same thing they did. Are there any questions?  - 105 When you get your paper, print your own name at the top of the page. Then wait until I tell you what to do next.  Read a l l the names on the list.  Then go back and circle the names of  three people (not your own name) that you like to be friendly with.  Remember  not to say any names out loud. When you've circled three names, turn your paper upside down so I know you are finished. 3  When you get your paper, print your own name at the top. Then wait until I tell you what to do next. Read a l l the names on the list.  Then go back and  circle the names of three people (not your own name) that you are not very friendly with. Remember not to say any names out loud.  When you've circled  three names, turn your paper upside down so I know you are finished. *  105a APPENDIX C GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING FRIENDSHIP UNDERSTANDING  INTERVIEW  1  R. Selman,. "Assessing Interpersonal Understanding: An Interview and Scoring Manual i n Five Parts" (constructed by the HarvardJudge Baker S o c i a l Reasoning Project, 1 9 7 9 ) unpublished),  PP- 5^-56.  APPENDIX D INTERVIEW INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHILD  12  2.  Ibid., p . 2 8 .  APPENDIX E INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND PROBES  5  3.  Ibid., pp.  LEAVES  106-Hf  30-32.  NOT FILMED; PERMISSION NOT OBTAINED.  106  Appendix C Guidelines for Conducting Friendship Understanding Interview C.  Suggested Methods for Interpersonal Understanding Interviews: Conceptions of Individuals, Close Friendships, Peer Group Organization, and P a r e n t - C h i l d Relations.  1. T h e interviewer's task is to bring out the child's own naive theory of interpersonal relations, whether of personality, close friendships, peer group dynamics, or parent-child relations, through his understanding of issues specifically related to each of the domains. These issues are the basic organizing system for social relations and the interviewer should always ask questions which seek to help the child articulate his thoughts about one of these issues. 2. Two general requirements ought to be filled by the interviewer. F i r s t , interviewing requires a nonthreatening or clinical approach to the subject as having natural abilities to make sense of the sometimes complex concepts which go along with personality, friendship bonds, peer group dynamics, or parent-child relations. We do not seek to test by an absolute criterion, but rather provide an atmosphere in which the child can perform at his/her highest level of competence. The child should be made to feel at ease in the interview, that his thinking makes a great deal of sense, and that the interviewer is personally interested in his ideas. Second, the interviewer ought to have a good knowledge of the stages of each of the interpersonal domains as described in the accompanying manuals. By knowing the kinds of responses made at the different stages, the interviewer is more likely to pick up and clarify ambiguous responses. Without both of these requirements the interviewer may never obtain the child's confidence enough to promote insights into peer relations or adequately probe vague responses necessary to elucidating the child's level of interpersonal understanding. 3. Given these basic requirements of interviewing, the initial task is to move from surface opinions or choices ("I think Jerry should be with his friend") to underlying cognitive structures, concepts or reasons ("because without friendship you would be pretty lonely"). T o this end each of the numbered questions can be seen to have two parts. F i r s t , there are the standardized questions as written in the interviews. These standardized questions and their answers by the child are called the structured phase of interviewing. O f t e n this structured phase of interviewing will produce scorable cognitive structures (concepts or reasons), but frequently the interviewer must resort to the open-ended phase. T h e open-ended phase represents the questions which the interviewer must create in the course of the interview to clarify reasons or move the child from opinions to underlying reasons. Usually the difference between an adequate interview and an excellent one is based on the interviewer's ability to think on his feet and come up with probes which both interest the child and serve to produce or clarify important conceptions. While the open-ended phase remains primarily an art form, two general open-ended probe approaches should be kept in mind. F i r s t , there are probe questions aimed at why a particular quality in  107  persons, friends, groups, or parent-child relations is important or necessary (e.g., HOW C O M E IT'S I M P O R T A N T T O T A K E V O E S 'sic' IN A G R O U P ? ) . This relevance probe challenges the child to provide justifications for a particular idea. Second, there are probes which seek to uncover the specific stage-related nature or characteristic of a given concept. F o r example, children often say you have to know a friend before you can be really good friends. Using what we call the meaning probe, the interviewer might say: W H A T K I N D S O F T H I N G S D O Y O U H A V E T O KNOW A B O U T S O M E O N E B E F O R E Y O U B E C O M E G O O D F R I E N D S ? T h e child who responds "names" or "what they look like" would then be giving a different stage of interpretation to the word know than the child who says, "what kind of personality they have." We find these relevance and meaning probes to be the most obvious of the many different tactics to use in interviewing. O f course, the interviewer will and should come up with his/her own that work even better. 4. R e l a t e d to the problem of confusing surface opinion with reasoning or conceptions, sometimes the subject's initial reactions may be mechanistic, dealing only with physical or overt behaviors. Sometimes these mechanistic explanations are indicative of a lower stage but often individuals capable of higher stages will initially give only mechanistic answers. They may be thinking at higher levels, but only giving the interviewer a chance to hear responses which are simpler. F o r example, any subject may respond to the question, W H A T WOULD IT T A K E T O G E T A T E A M G O I N G ? , with the idea of " p r a c t i c e " characteristic of at least stage 1 thinking. However, further probing may reveal practice as a means for instilling coordinated "teamwork" (Stage 2) or "getting the team to work as a unit" (Stage 3). Therefore, even when reasons sound likey they are at a particular stage of development, the interviewer should always explore the possibility of higher stages of awareness by using the relevance or meaning probes. Continuing with the example of practice, the interviewer might as, 'sic' WHY D O Y O U T H I N K P R A C T I C E M I G H T H E L P T H E M O U T ? or W H A T K I N D O F T H I N G S WILL P R A C T I C E DO F O R A TEAM? 5. Our interviews initially use a hypothetical context for discussion (e.g., IN T H E D I L E M M A Y O U H A V E JUST S E E N , W H A T K I N D O F P E R S O N IS J E R R Y ? ) . However, we often find the hypothetical modality too limited and move to other social contexts. Three contexts are present in the peer relations interviews: (1) the hypothetical (WAS J E R R Y A G O O D F R I E N D IN T H A T STORY? WHY?), (2) the general (WHAT K I N D O F P E R S O N D O Y O U T H I N K M A K E S A G O O D F R I E N D ? ) , and (3) the context of personal experience (WHAT K I N D O F P E R S O N IS Y O U R B E S T F R I E N D C H A R L I E ? ) . T o improve the quality of the subject's insights, the interviewer may wish to change contexts of the questions. F o r example, a child unmotivated to discuss social psychological issues in a hypothetical story may become more verbal and insightful when the discussion is shifted to issues of conformity, cohesion, or leadership in his own peer group. O n the other hand, children who become too involved in the mechanistic details of their own clubs or gangs may improve the quality of their reasoning by getting away from their personal experience through a hypothetical or general context of discussion. We do not seek to "test" the child but constantly adjust our interview to observe the conditions which bring out the highest level of competence of which the child is capable, as well as these conditions under which the child functions at a  108  lower level. 6. Some of our questions use words (team spirit, loyalty, personality, jealousy) which the younger children or those from different cultural backgrounds may not be familiar with. This, of course, creates a serious problem when interviewing. Two methods are used to reduce this problem. F i r s t , each issue in which difficult vocabulary is used also contains questions in which only a basic vocabulary is required. F o r example, in the peer group issue of Cohesion there are both questions of loyalty, an obviously difficult word and "what keeps a group together" which requires no special vocabulary. If the child does not know the meaning of a certain word, the interviewer need only find a more comprehensible or idiomatic question within the same issue. Since subjects are not scored for what they cannot answer, the limited vocabulary theoretically has less direct e f f e c t on the measurement of stage. Second, following each of the most difficult concepts is a brief explanation in simpler terms. The interviewer may even supply his own definition. If a child does not appear to understand a given concept, the interviewer provides the definition and continues with the questioning. It has been our experience that such definitions organized at the child's own level of reasoning do not appear to bias the interview. Observe the following example: DO Y O U T H I N K T E A M S P I R I T IS I M P O R T A N T IN Y O U R What's team spirit? IT'S WHEN E V E R Y O N E L I K E S E A C H O T H E R . D O E S Y O U HAVE THAT? Yah, we a l l say 'hi' to each other. WHY IS T E A M SPIRIT I M P O R T A N T ? C u z if you don't, you'll get in a fight.  GANG? GANG  The interviewer supplies a definition at least of Stage 2 (spirit is liking each other). However, the child orients to the each other only in terms of surface behaviors (Stage 1) (we say hi to each other), not to the inner feelings of reciprocated affection. 7. F o r younger children, ages 3 to 6, we often find it necessary to bend our interviewing procedures. F o r example, when showing a filmstrip, the interviewer may stop the projector during the story and ask one or more questions which might be appropriate at that time. In this way the child need only hold his/her attention on the questions for a few minutes before returning to the more enjoyable filmstrips. Questions may be built-in after short episodes in the dilemma so that the interview is a series of episodes and questions. Often, very casual questioning about the young child's own friendships, at moments which may not be thought of as standard interviews, has proven effective. 8. Enjoy yourself! Interviewing children on their conceptions of peer relations is a creative challenge for even the "experts" on developmental stages. We often find interviewing techniques used by the "newcomer" which surpass the ideas we have come up with. Just remember to always ask yourself, in what way  109  am I adding to my understanding of how this child defines this issue in peer relations (jealousy, leadership, etc.). T r y to listen to your first few interviews, perhaps with others, and think of ways to improve your clinical approach and openended probes. T r y not to lead the child too strongly with your own assumptions, but don't be afraid to try new ideas.  Note. F r o m Assessing Interpersonal Understanding: A n Interview and Scoring Manual in F i v e Parts (p. 54-56) by R. Selman, 1979, Constructed by the Harvard-Judge Baker Social Reasoning Project, Unpublished manual.  110  Appendix D Interview Instructions for Child General Introductory Comments We're going to go to another room where we can talk quietly. I'm going to tell you a story about two friends, then we'll talk about friendship. A f t e r that I'll ask you to do two games, one is a puzzle game and the other a word game. T h e whole thing will take about 30 minutes.  Introduction to Friendship Story I'm going to read you a short story about two friends. Then we'll talk about the friends in the story and I will ask you some questions about friendship. This is not a test.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Sometimes you might want to say the same thing for different questions. happens, that's okay.  If that  If you don't know what some of the words mean, you can ask me and I'll try and explain it for you. So I don't forget what you tell me, we'll use the tape recorder. This is the story.  The Friends Dilemma - Children's version K a t h y and Becky have been best friends since they were five years old. They went to the same kindergarten and have been in the same class ever since. Every Saturday they would try to do something special together, go to the park or the store, or play something special at home. They always had a good time with each other. One day a new girl, 3eanette, moved into their neighborhood and soon introduced herself to Kathy and Becky. Right away Jeanette and K a t h y seemed to hit it off very well. They talked about where Jeanette was from and the things she could be doing in her new town. Becky, on the other hand, didn't seem to like Jeanette very well. She thought Jeanette was a showoff, but was also jealous of all the attention K a t h y was giving Jeanette. When Jeanette left the other two alone, Becky told K a t h y how she felt about Jeanette. "What did you think of her, Kathy? I thought she was kind of pushy,  Ill  butting i n on us like that." "Come on, Becky. She's new in town and just trying to make friends. The least we can do is be nice to her." "Yeah, but that doesn't mean we have to be friends with her," replied Becky. Anyway, what would you like to do this Saturday? Y o u know those old puppets of mine, I thought we could f i x them up and make our own puppet show." "Sure, Becky, that sounds great," said Kathy. " I ' l l be over after lunch. I better go home now. See you tomorrow." L a t e r that evening Jeanette called K a t h y and suprised her with an invitation to the circus, the last show before it left town. T h e only problem was that the circus happened to be at the same time that K a t h y had promised to go to Becky's. K a t h y didn't know what to do, go to the circus and leave her best friend alone, or stick with her best friend and miss a good time.  Note. T h e story names Kathy, Becky, and Jeanette were changed to Gordon, Henry, and Barry, respectively, when narrated for male subjects. Note. D i l e m m a form Assessing Interpersonal Understanding; A n Interview and Scoring Manual in F i v e Parts (p. 28) by R.Selman, 1979, Constructed by the Harvard-Judge Baker Social Reasoning Project, Unpublished manual.  112  Appendix E Interview Questions and Probes Instructions: A s k a l l marked c l a r i f i c a t i o n is needed.  (**)  questions;  ask  unmarked  questions i f  Introduction Warm-up **1.  What do you think the problem is in this story?  **2.  What do you think Kathy/Gordon will do, choose to be with her/his old friend Becky/Henry or go with the new girl/boy 3eanette/Barry? Why? Which do you think is more important, to be with an old friend or make new friends? Why?  **3.  Do you have a best friend? What kind of friendship do you have with that person? What makes that person your best friend? (Use this information for probing personal knowledge of remaining friendship issues.)  Formation **4. 4a.  Why are friends important?  Why  does a person need a good friend?  3eanette/Barry is a new girl/boy in town and is trying to make friends. do you think making friends is important to her/him?  **5.  How should Jeanette/Barry go about making new friends? way to make a new friend?  **6.  Is it easy or hard to make a good friend? (the opposite).  **7.  What kind of person makes a good friend?  **8.  What kind of person would you not want as a friend?  Why?  Why  What is a good  Why is it sometimes  Closeness/Intimacy **9.  What kind of friendship do you think Kathy/Gordon and Becky/Henry have? (Do you think it is a good or close friendship?) What is a really good close friendship? Does it take something special to have a very good friendship? What kind of things do good friends know about each other?  **10.  What kinds of things can good friends talk about that other friends sometimes can't? What kinds of problems can they talk over?  113  11.  What's the difference between the kind of friendship Becky/Henry and Kathy/Gordon have and Kathy/Gordon and Jeanette/Barry's friendship? A r e there different kinds of friendship? What's the difference between a regular and best friendship?  12.  Which is better to have, one close friend or a group of regular friends? Why?  13.  What does being friends for a long time, Becky/Henry have, do for a friendship?  14.  What makes close/good friendships last?  15.  What makes two friends feel really close to each other?  16.  Is it better when close friends are like each other or different from each other? Why? In what way should good friends be the same? In what way should they be different?  like  Kathy/Gordon  and  Trust and R e c i p r o c i t y **17.  What kinds of things do good friends, like Becky/Henry and Kathy/Gordon do for each other? Is it important to do things for each other for a good friendship? Why?  **18.  D o you think trust is important f o r a good friendship?  Why?  18a. D o you think it is important for Becky/Henry and Kathy/Gordon to trust each other in order to stay good friends? Why? **19.  20.  What is trust anyway? Is it something more than just keeping secrets and paying back? Does trust mean anything more than keeping secrets? Is there a difference between the trust someone has in a best friend and the trust you have in someone you just know from school or something?  Jealousy **21.  If Kathy/Gordon and Jeanette/Barry (the new girl/boy) become good friends, what will happen to Kathy/Gordon and Becky/Henry's friendship?  **22.  How do you think Becky/Henry feels about the new friendship? D o you think she might get jealous? What do you think she is jealous of?  **23.  What does it mean to be jealous in a friendship? What does jealousy do to a friendship? How can jealousy hurt a friendship?  114  C o n f l i c t Reslolution **24.  What kinds of things do good friends sometimes fight or argue about? this break up a friendship?  **25.  How  Can  should arguments be settled between good friends?  25a. If Becky/Henry and Kathy/Gordon have a big argument over this problem, how could they work things out so they stay good friends? **26.  C a n people be friends even while they are having arguments? possible?  How  is that  **26a. C o u l d their friendship actually become better from having this argument? C a n arguments ever help a friendship?  Termination **27.  What makes friendships break up?  27a. If K a t h y and Jeanette become good friends, what do you think will happen to Becky and Kathy's friendship? Do you think it might break up because of it? 28.  Why is i t that these little things can sometimes become arguments big enough to ruin a friendship? How do little things sometimes get blown up between friends?  **29.  What does a person lose when they lose a good friend?  **30.  Why is it that good friends sometimes grow apart? grow apart from a good friend?  What does it mean to  Note. A d a p t e d from Assessing Interpersonal Understanding; A n Interview and Scoring Manuel in F i v e Parts (p. 30-32) by R. Selman, 1979, Constructed by the Harvard-Judge Baker Social Reasoning Project, Unpublished manual.  


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