Peer acceptance in early childhood and subtypes of socially withdrawn behaviour in China, Russia, and the United States

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To assess whether subtypes of withdrawal could be similarly identified by teachers and linked to peer group adjustment in mainland China, Russia, and the United States, 642 4- to 6-year-old children in these diverse cultural contexts were rated on items reflecting reticent, solitary-passive, solitary-active, and sociable behaviour (cf. Coplan & Rubin, 1998). Linkages of childhood withdrawal to peer group adjustment were also investigated using peer sociometric ratings. Findings, based on multisample confirmatory factor analysis, indicated that separate factors were required to represent the three withdrawn subtypes in each cultural setting. However, US and Russian teachers made finer discriminations between subtypes than did Chinese teachers. Controlling for other withdrawn subtypes, reticent behaviour was uniquely related to lower sociometric ratings in all three cultures. Sociability was associated with higher sociometric ratings in these diverse settings. Findings are interpreted in the light of cultural considerations. © 2000 The International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development.

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International Journal of Behavioral Development

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