Anxious solitary children at recess: naturalistic observation of sequential peer exclusion, victimization, and acceptance processes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Madelynn J. Druhen (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Heidi Gazelle

Abstract: This investigation assessed the processes by which anxious solitary children (i.e., those who are shy and play alone at elevated rates) were excluded, victimized, and accepted by their familiar peers. Peer sociometric nominations were conducted with 688 third grade children of diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. A subset of 163 of these children, approximately half of whom were identified as anxious solitary by their peers, was observed at free play during recess with familiar peers for a total of 25 minutes each. These observations were analyzed sequentially to establish child behavior that coincided with, preceded, and followed peer exclusion, victimization, and acceptance. Anxious solitary children compared to control children exhibited behavior at different frequencies and durations, received different responses from peers to the same behavior, and responded differently to the same type of peer treatment. Thus, the anxious solitary children's behavior and the peer responses they receive function under different contingencies than those of their non-anxious solitary peers.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Anxious solitude, Naturalistic observation, Peer acceptance, Peer maltreatment, Social withdrawal
Anxiety in children $x Social aspects.
Social phobia $x Children.
Solitude in children $x Psychological aspects.
Marginality, Social $x Children.

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