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Early Childhood Research & Practice, v13 n1 Spr 2011

The relationships that children experience with each other during infancy are often a neglected area of study. Most attention has been paid to infants' relationships with adults. However, children are increasingly spending greater amounts of time in group care and with peers at even the early stages of infancy. In these settings, adults are often fearful of the interactions between children of this age because toddlers do not yet understand how they might harm others. This study explored what happens when infants are given the opportunity to interact with older children, such as toddlers and 2-year-olds. Teachers and administrators in an infant room and toddler/2-year-old classroom carefully examined the relationships between children over the course of a year and began over time to cultivate these relationships, focusing on building relationships between the infants and the toddlers/2-year-olds. Findings support the idea that these children, with support, can be quite capable in interacting with each other. (Contains 26 figures.)

Descriptors: Toddlers, Interpersonal Relationship, Child Development, Child Behavior, Young Children, Age Differences, Friendship, Interaction, Play, Caregiver Role

Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 877-275-3227; Tel: 217-333-1386; Fax: 217-244-7732; e-mail: ecrp[at]; Web site:

Autor: McGaha, Cindy G.; Cummings, Rebekah; Lippard, Barbara; Dallas, Karen


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