Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

The Contribution of Family and Peer Relationships to the Development of Social Competence in Adolescence
Englund, Michelle Marie
Thesis. University of Minnesota 1997

Examine the significance of early parent-child relationships to adolescent social competence in peer groups. Investigate the continuity of peer competence over time and connections between preschool peer competence and social competence in middle adolescence.

40 adolescents (21 males, 19 females), ages 14-16, attending a 2-day intensive summer camp reunion. The subjects had been selected to attend summer camp at approximately age 10, based on attachment histories, gender and participation in Minnesota Preschool Project and are participants in a longitudinal study of children born to mothers considered to be at risk for parenting problems . The longitudinal study included mother-child relationship assessments at 12 and 18 months as well as follow up assessments conducted throughout the school years. Research on attachment history and peer group relations was conducted with the subject group at the summer camp (Elicker,1991).

Measurements included family functioning in early adolescence, peer competence, preschool teacher ratings, middle childhood counselor ratings and rankings, middle childhood observations, adolescence revealed differences task ratings, appropriateness of task for assessing social competence.


  • Subjects with secure attachment in infancy were more confident, exhibited greater leadership skills, and were more socially competent than those subjects with an insecure attachment in infancy.
  • Subjects with middle childhood (age 13) supportive family relationships demonstrated significantly more peer competence than subjects with less supportive middle childhood family relationships.
  • Significant correlation between preschool peer competence ratings and adolescent peer competence ratings.

"Overall, findings indicate that children who were securely attached in infancy, had supportive relationships with their parents at 13 years, and were socially competent in preschool and middle childhood were significantly more likely to be socially competent in a peer group setting in adolescence than those who did not have these experiences."