Peer Models and Children's Behavioral Change

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dale H. Schunk, Dean (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This article critically reviews the research literature on peer modeling among children as a function of model attributes. Peer modeling is hypothesized to depend in part on perceived similarity between model and observer. Similarity serves as an important source of information for gauging behavioral appropriateness, formulating outcome expectations, and assessing one's self-efficacy for learning or performing tasks. Research is reviewed on the effects of model age, model sex, model competence, number of models, and model background. Peer models can foster diverse types of behavioral change in children, but attribute similarity does not automatically enhance modeling. The conditions under which similarity promotes behavioral change are discussed. Future research needs to assess children's self-perceptions, as well as maintenance and generalization of behavioral changes. It is suggested that classroom peers can help train social skills, enhance self-efficacy, and remedy skill deficiencies.

Additional Information

Review of Educational Research, 57, 149-174.
Language: English
Date: 1987
Peer influence, Behavior attribution, Children, Influencing factors

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