Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963848 | Print ISBN: 9781412916882 | Online ISBN: 9781412963848| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Children's social development refers to the ways in which children grow in terms of their social skills, awareness of others, cooperative behaviors, and ways of approaching and interacting with others. Children's social development has significant implications for later functioning in numerous areas, including emotional development, educational and employment success, and overall adjustment. Poor social development can place children at risk for poor relationships with their peers, academic problems, criminal activity, and mental health and adjustment problems. Thus, successful development socially is integrally important to children's overall well-being. From the moment they are born, children enter and have to begin learning how to navigate a social world. A graphic model of this is given in Figure 1 . Early in life, children's primary social context for developing is their immediate family. Later, as they develop, children become increasingly more integrated into other divergent social contexts, including their peer groups, school networks, ...