Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Social Groups and Development

Social Groups and Development

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


children, peer group interaction, preschoolers, social groups, social impact, social status, sociometric techniques



Children spend an increasing amount of time in social groups as they age. Preschoolers begin to interact with their peers around playsets, though at this stage, these early social groups are loosely organized. It is not until they reach school age that children begin to feel as true members of a peer group. A peer group interacts on a regular basis, provides a sense of belonging, has implicit or explicit norms, and has a hierarchical order. Within these groups, social status becomes important, with some members being more popular and having a greater social impact than others.

Additional Information

This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.




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Social Groups and Development