Decades of research have demonstrated the importance of positive peer relationships and social competence to children’s psychological, social, and emotional well-being as well as their academic success. The purpose of this chapter is to appraise this extensive literature on children’s social competence and peer relationships, and consider the significance of these aspects of children’s development. The chapter is organized around several primary social challenges, or tasks, that confront young children, such as gaining entry into peer activities, earning acceptance among classmates, and forming and sustaining positive relationships, and then consider the social competencies or skills that are needed to master such tasks. We conclude the chapter with recommendations for promoting healthy peer relationships and facilitating the development of social competence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Social Sciences