Parents' Management of Preschooler's Peer Relations: Is it Related to Children's Social Competence?

Gary W. Ladd, Beckie S. Golter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the relation between parents' efforts to initiate and monitor children's peer contacts and qualities of children's peer relations in nonschool and school settings. Parents of 58 preschool children completed logs of their initiation and monitoring practices and of their children's peer contacts in nonschool settings during late preschool. Parents were classified as high versus low initiators, and direct versus indirect monitorers, depending on the form of management they tended to use for children's peer contacts. Information about children's peer relations in school was obtained through observational, sociometric, and teacher assessments conducted during preschool and kindergarten. Parents who initiated a higher proportion of peer contacts tended to have children who possessed a larger number of different play partners and more consistent companions in nonschool settings. For boys but not girls, higher levels of parental initiation were also associated with greater peer acceptance and lower levels of peer rejection in school. Direct or indirect forms of parental monitoring were unrelated to children's peer relations in nonschool settings, but directive styles were predictive of children's social maladjustment in school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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