chapter  4
28 Pages

Family and Peer Systems: In Search of the Linkages: Ross D. Parke, Kevin B. MacDonald, Virginia M. Burks, James Carson, Navaz Bhavnagri, Joan M. Barth, and Ashley Beitel

One of the central tenets of a life-span viewpoint is the recognition of the importance of the contextualization of social behavior (Baltes, 1987; Featherman & Lerner, 1985). Individuals are best understood by an examination of their relationships with others, rather than being treated as independent agents. For students of socialization, the mother-child dyad and more recently father-child and sibling-child dyads are recognized as increasingly rich sources of insight concerning early social processes (Dunn & Kendrick, 1982; Parke, 1981; Parke & Tinsley, 1987). Recognition of larger units, such as triads and family groups has recently increased as well (Parke, 1988). Contexts outside the family are receiving recognition, including a variety of extrafamilial social relationships such as childrens' and adults' social networks and friendships (Oliveri & Reiss, 1987). Accompanying this recognition is the understanding that these various social contexts are related and interdependent. Families are no longer viewed as isolated but instead are conceptualized as being embedded in a set of social

another perspective, namely the parent's role of manager of the child's environment, is receiving increased attention (Hartup, 1979; Parke, 1978). In their role as manager, parents can directly and indirectly influence their children's social lives by engaging in activities, providing opportunities, or making choices that may purposefully or inadvertently alter both qualitative and quantitative aspects of children's social ties to extrafamilial partners such as peers. Two types of parental managerial roles that may alter children's peer relationships are parents as educators and as facilitators of social contact.