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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Friendship and gender differences in task and social interpretations of peer collaborative problem solving.

Author: Strough,-JoNell; Berg,-Cynthia-A; Meegan,-Sean-P
Author Background: West Virginia U, Dept of Psychology, Morgantown, WV, US
Date 2001
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Development
Volume/Pages Vol 10(1): 1-22
Subject Matter Adolescence, Gender, Research, Peer Relations; Problem Solving
Abstract Examined how social aspects (group friendship and gender) of a peer collaborative context related to differences in adolescents' interpretations of task and social problems that occurred while collaborating with peers in a naturalistic classroom setting. Eighth-grade adolescents (N = 82; 44 females) worked with peers on a six-week Spanish project at school. Adolescents chose to work primarily with same-gender peers and friends. Task and social interpretations of problems were assessed twice. The salience of task problems decreased over time; social problems became somewhat more salient. Social problems were less salient to females than to males. Greater group friendship was associated with the lesser salience of task problems early in the project. The salience of social problems, gender, and friendship were important for understanding performance on the project. The value of considering the context of peer collaborative problem solving from individuals' perspectives is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)