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Session Overview
Oral Presentation VI: "Peer Group Effects on Young Children’s Learning-Related Behaviours in Childcare"
Monday, 21/Nov/2022:
12:30pm - 12:45pm

Presenting Author: Johanna Lieb

Location: Auditorium Olivier

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Peer Group Effects on Young Children’s Learning-Related Behaviours in Childcare

Johanna Lieb1,2, Yvonne Reyhing1,2, Sonja Perren1,2

1Univerity of Konstanz; 2Thurgau University for Teacher Education, Germany

Research in older children suggests that the social climate of the peer group is important for individuals’ learning-related behaviours, i.e., mastery motivation and attention skills. Our research question is whether this association can be found already in younger children childcare. Caregivers answered questionnaires (ITSEA) on children’s mastery motivation, attention skills, and positive peer relations, at up to three time points per child. To estimate the social climate of the group, we averaged positive peer relationships across all children in the group but the target child. The sample consists of 233 children from 28 groups (mage= 31.9 months; SDage=12.9). We computed GLMMS to estimate the association of positive peer relations at the group level with mastery motivation and attention at the individual level, respectively, controlling for age, gender, group size, number of adults, and age range in the group. The full-null model comparisons reveal a significant association of positive peer relations at the group level with mastery motivation at the individual level (χ2=16,df =5, p<0.01). Positive peer relations at the group level are not related to attention skills at the individual level (χ2=10.32,df =5, p=0.07). The results suggest that a positive social climate within their childcare peer group might help young children to approach games and tasks with higher mastery motivation, maybe by creating a sense of belonging and acceptance. This again might benefit their success later in school. Thus, caregivers in childcare should support a positive social climate at the group level, besides dyadic interactions between individual children.

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