Mother and Child Reports of Preschool Children's Social Support Networks: Network Correlates of Peer Acceptance

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This study examined the relations between characteristics of preschool children's social support networks and peer acceptance. Mothers and their children completed network interviews that assessed structural features of the child's network, the actual performance of supportive behaviors across four support domains (daily maintenance, occasional maintenance, emotional support, recreation), and the perceived closeness of the relationships between children and network members. Mothers tended to identify broader networks than did their children, and both maternal and child reports of the number of males included in the network were significant correlates of peer acceptance. A gender effect was also revealed suggesting that boys' networks included more male members than those of girls whereas girls mentioned more females as network members than did boys. Further analyses indicated that maternal reports of enacted emotional support, network size for emotional and recreational support and perceived closeness to network members were positively associated with peer acceptance measures. Child reports of the number of network members with whom he/she had a ‘special relationship’ and enjoyed spending time were correlated positively with peer acceptance. Multiple regression analyses revealed that network variables accounted for significant proportions of variance in peer acceptance measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-164
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Social networks
  • peer acceptance
  • preschool children
  • social support
  • sociometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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