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Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology

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Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology

Neil J. Salkind

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963848 | Print ISBN: 9781412916882 | Online ISBN: 9781412963848 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Peer Influences

Humans are inherently social beings who interact with one another over the course of life. From these interactions, people change and grow over time. The term peer influences refers to the body of research aimed at understanding how people change and grow from interacting with others who are of the same status or age. Popular culture has coined terms like peer pressure to describe the influence of peers on child development. Educational psychology has been interested in how peers influence learning and behavioral changes in school performance. Consequently, much of the research has focused on the peer influences of school-age children. This entry discusses the peer influences knowledge base broadly and then focuses on two areas that are most important to education and schooling: deviant behavior and prosocial behavior. It is important to understand peer influences within the broader area of peer relations research and differentiate between the two. Several ...

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