Social Adjustment and Personality Development in Children
Social Adjustment and Personality Development in Children was first published in 1972. The authors report on an extensive research program designed to measure the social adjustment of children in the third through the sixth grades. Peer acceptance-rejection scores were obtained from pupils’ ratings of their classmates and teachers’ ratings of the peer status of children in their classes. Some 40,000 children, divided about equally between Texas and Minnesota, were the subjects. Intensive analyses of correlates of social adjustment were made, using samples of various kinds, and a four-year longitudinal study was carried out with sub-samples of about 4,000 pupils. Earlier studies by Merrill Roff had shown that peer rejection in children can be a precursor of later severe maladjustment. The present study reveals that peer rejection is not an isolated characteristic randomly distributed among the population but, rather, a factor tied to social forces of considerable generality and of major significance. The authors conclude that the child-oriented programs of enriched educational offerings and group activities, which enjoy current popularity among agencies concerned with underprivileged, disadvantaged, maladjusted, and delinquent youth, are focused on symptoms rather than on causes, and that their principal value may be only to buy time until fore fundamental measures, designed to attack the roots of the problems, can be instituted. The findings and conclusions of this study will be of interest to psychologists, social workers, educational specialists, sociologists, and others concerned with children in today’s society.
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