Social Development in Childhood

  • Wendy S. Matthews
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


From the moment of birth, a child is enmeshed in a social milieu, a network that, ideally, will offer security, love, and intimacy but will also require the acquisition and maintenance of an entire repertoire of social behaviors deemed appropriate by a particular group or culture. Social development encompasses the task of growing up within a social system such that one is able to behave in that system’s socially accepted ways (Lewis, 1982). Traditionally, the study of social systems has fallen under the purview of anthropologists or sociologists, the study of interpersonal relationships has been a major focus of clinicians, and the study of social behaviors (e.g., aggression, empathy) has captured the attention of social and developmental psychologists. The past few years have heralded the emergence of interpersonal relationships and social knowledge as relevant topics of inquiry for developmentalists of all persuasions (cf. Hinde, 1974; Lewis & Brooks-Gunn, 1979; Youniss, 1980).


Social Behavior Anorexia Nervosa Social Development Social Knowledge Family System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy S. Matthews
    • 1
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey—Rutgers Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA
  2. 2.The Infant LaboratoryEducational Testing ServicePrincetonUSA
  3. 3.College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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