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Schools, Peers, and Media Influences on Childhood Behavior and Beliefs

Schools, peers, and the media can impact a child’s development. In schools, teachers play a role in encouraging academic success and student involvement. The characteristics of the school itself also can influence student involvement. For example, larger schools increase the sense of anonymity in students, and teachers are often hard-pressed to provide individualized instruction.

Peers aid in socialization, often through the act of play. Even young children begin to prefer to play with other children rather than play by themselves or with adults. Children often model their behaviors based on their peers. Peers can reinforce behaviors (which may be desirable or undesirable by caregivers or teachers), encourage socially appropriate behavior and attitudes, establish age-related values, and help children learn how to interact with others.

Although television and electronic media impact a child’s development, keep in mind that they only provide the medium for delivery of the message. The medium itself is neither inherently good nor bad. However, the harmful effects of television content (e.g., violence can increase aggressive behavior in viewers; stereotyped portrayals of ethnic and minority groups can leave viewers with inaccurate beliefs about these groups) are more readily recalled than the beneficial influences of some content (e.g., programs such as Sesame Street teach basic cognitive and pro-social skills to their young viewers).

For this Discussion, you will examine social-development theories as they relate to the impact of schools, peers, and media.

To prepare for this Discussion: Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider social-emotional development theories as they relate to the impact of schools, peers, and media. Select a current event or news item about a child/children in which the impact of schools, peers, or media was integral. By Day 4

Post a brief description of the event or news item you selected. Then conceptualize and explain this event within the framework of social-emotional development theories. Be sure to include references to the impact of schools, peers, and/or media specific to the event or item. Provide a reference to the current event or news item and a link, if possible. Use proper APA format and citations.