The influence of parent and peer communications on children's reward allocations
Hale, Chrystal F.
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This study investigated the relationship between children's level on the Distributive Justice Scale (DJS) (as described by R. D. Enright, C. C. Franklin, and L. A. Manheim in Developmental Psychology, Vol. 16, 1980, pp. 193-202) and the influence of parents and peers on reward allocation decisions. The DJS is a measure of distributive justice development. It was predicted that children scoring high on the DJS (thus, having a higher level of distributive justice development) would be more influenced by selections made by hypothetical peers on the DJS, while children scoring low on the DJS would be more influenced by selections made by hypothetical parents. It was also expected that children rated high in popularity by their peers would be highly influenced by peers; children rated low in popularity would be highly influenced by parents. Seventy-three first-, second-, and third-grade children were first administered the DJS and a sociometric measure. Based on their DJS scores, 50 children were selected for the final sample. Approximately one week later, a modified version of the DJS was administered to these children. On this modified DJS, children were given information as to how hypothetical parents and peers had answered the DJS questions and were asked to answer these questions a second time. The results indicated that neither DJS level nor popularity level was related to how children were influenced by the hypothetical parents or peers. Children at all ages were more influenced by parents, and third-graders were less likely to change their answers on the second DJS administration than were either first- or second-graders. Problems with the DJS measure and possible explanations for the grade effect were discussed.