Impact of Parents and Peers on Cognitive and Social Development in Middle Childhood
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Impact of Parents and Peers on Cognitive and Social Development in Middle Childhood

  • Author(s): Rajadhyaksha, Manasi
  • Advisor(s): Johnson, Austin
  • et al.

The extent to which parents and peers influence child development has long been debated inscientific literature. Given that both parents and peers form an important part of the child’s immediate environment, more research is needed to understand their role in promoting and sustaining children’s developmental outcomes, particularly related to cognitive and social skills. This paper investigated the relationship between parent and peer characteristics and children’s cognitive and social development during middle childhood. Using a large, nationally representative database of fifth grade students, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011), the current project examined the extent to which parent involvement, parental warmth, parent mental health, home environment, peer victimization, and peer social support predicted children’s cognitive and social development. Results from a weighted hierarchical regression analysis suggested that some variance in children’s cognitive development can be significantly predicted by peer and parent level factors. None of the factors, however, except parent mental health, significantly predicted social development. Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed. Keywords: cognitive development, social development, parents, peers

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