Children’s Peer Relations and Social Competence


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A Century of Progress

Gary W. Ladd

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This book examines the role of peer relationships in child and adolescent development by tracking research findings from the early 1900s to the present. Dividing the research into three generations, the book describes what has been learned about children’s peer relations and how children’s participation in peer relationships contributes to their health, adjustment, and achievement.

Gary W. Ladd reviews and interprets the investigative focus and findings of distinct research eras to highlight theoretical or empirical breakthroughs in the study of children’s peer relations and social competence over the last century. He also discusses how this information is relevant to understanding and promoting children’s health and development. In a final chapter, the author appraises the major discoveries that have emerged during the three research generations and analyzes recent scientific agendas and discoveries in the peer relations discipline.

GARY W. LADD is professor of psychology and of human development at Arizona State University. He is also director of the Pathways Project, a long-term study of children from kindergarten through high school.

"A first-rate volume—well-written, comprehensive, and scholarly, it makes a clear and compelling case for the importance of peer relationships for children's development."—Ross D. Parke, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Riverside




"A thorough review of our understanding of the development of social competence over the past century. The scope is quite remarkable, and it will be an excellent resource for graduate study in the field."—Shelley Hymel, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of British Columbia



"Gary Ladd's impressive scholarship makes this essential reading for beginning researchers and senior scholars alike. The field of social development needed this kind of comprehensive treatment and Professor Ladd has written a truly remarkable book."—Steven Asher, Professor of Psychology, Duke University 

Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2006 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300106435
Publication Date: August 22, 2005
448 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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