Social dynamics in the preschool

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69 Scopus citations


In this paper, we consider how concepts from dynamic systems (such as attractors, repellors, and self-organization) can be applied to the study of young children's peer relationships. We also consider how these concepts can be used to explore basic issues involving early peer processes. We use the dynamical systems approach called state space grid (SSG) analysis and consider how it can be expanded beyond the study of dyads to the study of larger social groups and networks. In particular, we explore the role of homophily - that is, behavioral and sex similarity - as factors in the self-organization of young children's social groups. A dynamic systems approach allows for consideration of peer processes difficult to assess using more traditional approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-327
Number of pages29
JournalDevelopmental Review
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Dynamic systems
  • Peer relations
  • State space grids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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