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In a message dated 8/5/05 12:56:08 PM, nellebelle@... writes:

> I think there is a spectrum.  Totally peer oriented on one end, totally
> self oriented on the other, with most people NOT on the absolute ends.

And if Piaget's stages are useful at all, it's to show that there's a
spectrum of developmental needs people pass through, and that none of the states will
last a lifetime.

Marty is currently big into peers. Kirby is coming out of that phase. He
still has a lot of friends, but he's quite unlikely to change the way he
dresses or sits to please them.

The difference between them and kids who went to school or who weren't
parented in so "attachment" a way (nursing, family bed, no pressure to leave) is
that they haven't had their family replaced with a pseudo family based on age and
geography, or private-school-of-choice.

Humans have the normal primate need to belong to a group. Families can
satisfy that need, or families can totally trigger the search for a group
elsewhere in the same way enemy interaction or danger could. If our children don't
feel safe with us, they will find someone who makes them feel safe.

When schools break the bonds between children and parents, it's replaced by
groups of same-age kids, and maybe with a few teachers the kid likes.

I didn't look long enough to find a summary that wasn't school-related
(sorry), but if you want to look more put in "piaget stages of development" and
you'll get lots of summaries and sites. The peer attachment here is only
indicated by the lessening and re-appearance of "egocentric thought"

Stages of Cognitive Development.
Piaget identified four stages in cognitive development:

1. Sensorimotor stage (Infancy). In this period (which has 6
stages), intelligence is demonstrated through motor activity without the use of
symbols. Knowledge of the world is limited (but developing) because its based on
physical interactions / experiences. Children acquire object permanence at
about 7 months of age (memory). Physical development (mobility) allows the child
to begin developing new intellectual abilities. Some symbollic (language)
abilities are developed at the end of this stage.

2. Pre-operational stage (Toddler and Early Childhood). In this
period (which has two substages), intelligence is demonstrated through the use of
symbols, language use matures, and memory and imagination are developed, but
thinking is done in a nonlogical, nonreversable manner. Egocentric thinking

3. Concrete operational stage (Elementary and early adolescence).
In this stage (characterized by 7 types of conservation: number, length,
liquid, mass, weight, area, volume), intelligence is demonstarted through logical
and systematic manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects. Operational
thinking develops (mental actions that are reversible). Egocentric thought

4. Formal operational stage (Adolescence and adulthood). In this
stage, intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related
to abstract concepts. Early in the period there is a return to egocentric
thought. Only 35% of high school graduates in industrialized countries obtain
formal operations; many people do not think formally during adulthood.


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