Additional internal factors are also part of this influence, and they comprise of the child’s physical, developmental, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities. Having said that, children who suffer from disabilities, i.e., being impaired in one or more of the above basic skills, tend to find more difficulties to socially adapt to others than their well-developed peers.
Research identified behavior as one of the crucial factors linked to peer relationship difficulties. For instance, children who are hyperactive, aggressive, or withdrawn often face higher peer rejection. These are more likely to occur later than preschool years. Although aggressive behaviors are sometimes accepted within certain peer groups and within specific age groups, the absence of prosocial behaviors tend to have a more significant impact on peer rejection. The aggression-rejection association is more prominent in preschool or early school years rather than late childhood; in addition, aggressive children might be more popular within a group of peers who are supportive or are neutral towards aggressive behaviors.
Short Term and Long Term Effects
Over the short term, these peer relationship difficulties are correlated with poor academic performance and educational underachievement. Thus, children will possess a decreased motivation for classroom activities because of peer conflict and rejection. The differences are obvious when observing children with healthy and accepting peer relationships, where they enjoy an increased motivation to participate.
Over the long term though, it has been recognized that adjustment disorders in adolescence and young adulthood are highly correlated with early peer relationship difficulties. These adjustment disorders come in the term of school dropouts, juvenile delinquency, and emotional problems such as: anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Nevertheless, not enough evidence has demonstrated the long-term effects on peer relationship problems since there are other personal or environmental factors to consider in these circumstances. In this case though, it comes back to the risks of maladjustments in children with early behavioral and emotional issues being significantly heightened by peer rejection. Studies have demonstrated how early healthy and positive peer relationships appear to pose as protective factors for high-risk children against extreme psychological disturbances.
All in all, research directs us towards promoting the need to develop critical social-emotional abilities. It also encourages the importance of attending to creating a positive atmosphere for children full of healthy relationships whether at home, at school, or even in the community.
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