Open Access Repository

Theories of interpersonal attraction : an investigation of their applicability to children's peer relations through the gender cleavage phenomenon


Downloads per month over past year

Cowles, Sharon Clare 1996 , 'Theories of interpersonal attraction : an investigation of their applicability to children's peer relations through the gender cleavage phenomenon', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Whole thesis)
whole_CowlesSha...pdf | Download (3MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

| Preview


It is recognised that children's experiences with their peers have
implication for their adjustment in later life. Much research in the area
of children's peer relations has been conducted. However, studies largely
have been atheoretical in nature. Existing theories of interpersonal
attraction more usually applied to adult social relations appear to have
some applicability to understanding children's sociometric status and
friendship. The aim of this review is to examine these theories and
determine their usefulness with respect to the area of children's peer
relations. One clearly identified peer relations phenomenon in the
literature is the gender cleavage, that is, the tendency for children to
prefer same-gender as opposed to opposite-gender peers as friends. This
review discusses the adequacy of two opposing theories of interpersonal
attraction, specifically the Balance Theory (Heider, 1958) and the Theory of
Social Exchange (Homans, 1951) in explaining gender cleavage. Although
both theories may be used to explain children's peer preferences, it is not
clear which is more useful in understanding children's peer relations.
The review concludes that the gender cleavage phenomenon, while
constituting but one aspect of children's sociometric status and
friendship, may provide a useful platform from which to test the
applicability of two contrasting theories of interpersonal attraction to
children's peer relations.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Cowles, Sharon Clare
Keywords: Interpersonal attraction, Interpersonal communication in children, Cognitive balance, Children
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 1996. Includes bibliographical references

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page