Volume 2, Issue 2 (1973)
Peer Interaction and Cognitive Development
D.R. Rardin, C.E. Moan
Eighty-one children from one classroom each of kindergarten, first, second, and third grades were ranked on measures of popularity, cognitive, and social development. The measure of social development consisted of four combined ratings: Reason for Friendship, Stability of Friendship, Names Not Known, and Congruency of Friendships. The measures of physical concept (cognitive) development were conservation and classification. Piaget proposed that during the grades studied, physical and social concepts are closely related and are parallel in their development. He also suggested that various systems of cognition are becoming interconnected during this period and that peer interaction is a causal force helping to bring about this qualitative change. Two hypotheses based upon these formulations were examined in this study: (1) that peer relations develop in a manner parallel to that of physical concepts, and (2) that a child’s cognitive development would be directly affected by the quality of his peer relations, as judged by popularity rankings.
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