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Title:Children's social behavior as related to participation in mixed-age or same-age groups
Author(s):McClellan, Diane E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Katz, Lilian G.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sociology of
Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:The role of mixed- versus same-age grouping of children as a predictor variable for prosocial, friendship, and aggressive behaviors among preschool children was examined in two related studies.
In the first study, Component 1, 17 teachers of mixed-age preschool classes and 18 teachers of same-age preschool classes were asked to rate children in their classes according to prosocial, leadership, friendship/acceptance and aggressive/competitive descriptive phrases. It was hypothesized that a mixed-age grouping strategy would be predictive of higher levels of prosocial and leadership behaviors and decreased levels of aggression and competitiveness. It was also hypothesized that there would be a greater number of children in same-age classrooms who would be judged by their teachers to be neglected or rejected by other children. Results indicate that mixed-age groups are clearly predictive of lower rates of aggression and competitiveness but not of higher rates of prosocial and leadership behaviors. Same-age groups were more likely to contain higher rates of social "stars" as well as children who were rejected or neglected by their peers.
In the second study, Component 2, a random sample of 17 preschool children from mixed-age classrooms and 17 children from same-age classrooms was selected from Component 1 samples. Children were shown pictures of children the same-age, younger, or older than themselves, and asked to choose one activity mate for 9 different hypothetical activities (play with, help, etc.). Consistent with past findings preschool children preferred same-age or older children for most activities regardless of the social function of the activity. No differences in hypothetical choices were associated with same- or mixed-age grouping.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 McClellan, Diane E.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124460
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124460

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