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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Understanding social interactions occurring in young girls’ and boys’ lives has long been a topic of interest. During the preschool years, children become increasingly social and spend less time alone. However, young children do not interact with all available peers equally; rather, they narrow their social fields toward a selective set of peers. As such, children interact with some peers frequently, with some peers occasionally, and they rarely or never interact with other peers. In the present chapter, we review the powerful role that gender plays in young children’s social interactions and explore the factors that contribute to it, with particular attention paid to temperamental factors that affect the degree to which children engage in gender-segregated interactions. We present some new data highlighting the importance of considering dispositional regulation as a factor that influences the patterns of children’s interactions. Directions for future research also are identified.

Keywords: Keywords, Gender, gender segregation, temperament, social interactions, young children.

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