Une analyse fonctionnelle du répertoire social des enfants d'âge préscolaire en groupes de pairs - article ; n°4 ; vol.43, pg 405-421

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Enfance - Année 1990 - Volume 43 - Numéro 4 - Pages 405-421
Research in social ethology has traditionally assumed that the social functioning of preschool children can be analyzed in terms of functional similarity of behavioral acts characterizing different forms of interpersonal exchange. This study documents age changes in the organization of early social activity by analyzing patterns of naturally occurring social exchange in stable peer groups. Observational data were collected for 182 children ranging from 10 to 66 months. Each peer group was homogeneous with respect to age. An average of 60 minutes of interaction were recorded for each child using focal sampling procedures (Altmann, 1974). The social taxonomy includes 14 categories of affiliative and aggressive activities as well as acts terminating social exchange (Strayer, 1980). A total of 180 hours of observational data were obtained yielding 44,385 social acts for the analysis.
All categories of behavior were observed, albeit at strikingly different rates at each age level. First-order transition matrices were compiled for each of the primary behavioral categories. These matrices showed the likely social consequences of each act in terms of a social partner's probable response. To assess the functional similarity of particular activities, we calculated Pearson correlation coefficients between action across social consequences. The obtained correlations were treated as similarity indices that were subsequently analyzed using hierarchical clustering techniques (Colgan, 1985). Resulting dendrograms provided a visual illustration of the structure of the peer repertoire for the entire sample, while subsequent analyses permitted exploring variation in the functional organization of peer activity as a function of both age and gender.
All analyses provided a primary distinction between dispersive and cohesive activities. However, results did not support the regrouping of all conflict within the traditional class of agonistic activity. Competition was always functionally separated from other forms of aggressive activity, appearing as early as one year as a distinct subset of dispersive activity. The organization of aggressive activity showed clear developmental change. At one year of age, Threat was too infrequent to be considered in the analyses. Among two-year-olds, threat was functionally indistinguishable from forms of passive communication. It's only at three-years that Threat began to assume the same consequences as the physical Attack. Two forms of Cohesive Activity emerged at all age levels. Orient and Observe categories define a category of Passive Affiliation while Signal, Talk, Approach and Contact cluster quickly to form a category of Active Affiliation. At three years, the latter category divided into two distinct components of proximal and distal affiliation.
These empirical analyses provide a more nuanced and developmentally appropriate interpretation of elements of the social repertoire of young children. Our results underscore the developmental complexity of the aggressive and affiliative systems during the preschool years and establish more precise functional distinctions among social activities at different age levels.
Pour constituer un répertoire social utilisable dans les recherches sur le fonctionnement social des jeunes enfants en groupe de pairs, Strayer a proposé une classification qui regroupe en plusieurs catégories les schemes de comportement sur la base de leur similitude fonctionnelle. La présente recherche approfondit cette perspective et examine le développement du répertoire social de 182 enfants âgés d'un an à cinq ans, en tenant compte des liens fonctionnels susceptibles d'exister entre les différentes catégories gestuelles déjà établies empiriquement. Les résultats mettent en évidence cinq classes de comportements qui confirment la distinction classique faite entre les deux systèmes affiliatif et agonistique. Cependant, dans le système agonistique, la conduite compétitive n'a pas le même impact social que le comportement agressif (Attaquer et Menacer). Par ailleurs, le répertoire affiliatif qui s'avère complexe différencie deux classes principales de comportements : l'une regroupe des gestes amicaux qui traduisent un style de relation plutôt passif (Orienter, Observer et Perdre) alors que dans l'autre les gestes fonctionnellement similaires relèvent d'un mode plus actif de communication (Approcher, Contacter, Parler et Signaler). Dans cette dernière classe, deux sous-regroupements suggèrent une distinction à faire entre des échanges actifs à proximité (Approcher et Contacter) et à distance (Parler et Signaler). Les résultats de notre étude contribuent à préciser les nuances développementales qui caractérisent l'utilisation fonctionnelle du répertoire social des jeunes enfants entre un an et cinq ans.
17 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.
Publié le : lundi 1 janvier 1990
Lecture(s) : 43
Nombre de pages : 20
Voir plus Voir moins
Jean-Max Noël
Danielle Leclerc
F. Francis Strayer
Une analyse fonctionnelle du répertoire social des enfants d'âge
préscolaire en groupes de pairs
In: Enfance. Tome 43 n°4, 1990. pp. 405-421.
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http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/enfan_0013-7545_1990_num_43_4_1958
Abstract
Research in social ethology has traditionally assumed that the social functioning of preschool children
can be analyzed in terms of functional similarity of behavioral acts characterizing different forms of
interpersonal exchange. This study documents age changes in the organization of early social activity
by analyzing patterns of naturally occurring social exchange in stable peer groups. Observational data
were collected for 182 children ranging from 10 to 66 months. Each peer group was homogeneous with
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sampling procedures (Altmann, 1974). The social taxonomy includes 14 categories of affiliative and
aggressive activities as well as acts terminating social exchange (Strayer, 1980). A total of 180 hours of
observational data were obtained yielding 44,385 social acts for the analysis.
All categories of behavior were observed, albeit at strikingly different rates at each age level. First-order
transition matrices were compiled for each of the primary behavioral categories. These matrices showed
the likely social consequences of each act in terms of a social partner's probable response. To assess
the functional similarity of particular activities, we calculated Pearson correlation coefficients between
action across social consequences. The obtained correlations were treated as similarity indices that
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dendrograms provided a visual illustration of the structure of the peer repertoire for the entire sample,
while subsequent analyses permitted exploring variation in the functional organization of peer activity as
a function of both age and gender.
All analyses provided a primary distinction between dispersive and cohesive activities. However, results
did not support the regrouping of all conflict within the traditional class of agonistic activity. Competition
was always functionally separated from other forms of aggressive activity, appearing as early as one
year as a distinct subset of dispersive activity. The organization of aggressive activity showed clear
developmental change. At one year of age, Threat was too infrequent to be considered in the analyses.
Among two-year-olds, threat was functionally indistinguishable from forms of passive communication.
It's only at three-years that Threat began to assume the same consequences as the physical Attack.
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complexity of the aggressive and affiliative systems during the preschool years and establish more
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Résumé
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développementales qui caractérisent l'utilisation fonctionnelle du répertoire social des jeunes enfants
entre un an et cinq ans.
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