Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Leisure--Study and teaching; Leisure counseling;


Recent research on peer relations has differentiated two groups of socially isolated children, one due to social withdrawal and the other because of aggressive behavior. Aggression has seen more research and more conclusive evidence of the development of later problems while much of the peer relations literature has previously regarded the socially withdrawn child as questionable in terms of risk. Developmental theorists, however, maintain that interpersonal experiences enable children to gain a sense of other's perspective and relate to peers in social settings. Lack of, or continuously negative interactions will affect development of social cognition, limiting the learning gained through interactions between persons or a person within a group.

Social isolation has been associated with risk of later maladjustment when due to aggressive behavior. The greater visibility and more conclusive research on aggressive, isolated children's potential for subsequent delinquency in adolescence contrasts with the sparse and inconclusive research on socially withdrawn children. However, as schooling is, in part, a time for social development, more interest has been expressed regarding the study of withdrawal and risk. The inconclusive research, problems with methodology, and lack of studies specific to social withdrawal in non-aggressive children has created controversy over social withdrawal as a predictor of future problems and concurrent maladjustment.

The research discussed in this review paper examines the significance of the study of social withdrawal and the theories behind social withdrawal as a problem for the developing child. Findings from studies exploring peer relations and social withdrawal are discussed, as well as methodological considerations and areas for further study.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Carmen Montecinos


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this graduate research paper and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iii, 40 pages)



File Format