Author

Laura Gaynard

Date of Award:

1980

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

J. Craig Peery

Abstract

From a population of 160 children, 59 were sociometrically viii identified into four categories : popular, amiable , isolated, and rejected . Same-sexed pairs of children 1·1ere t hen observed in an experimental play situation in which two experimenters, using a computerized event recorder, obtained the amount of time each identified child spent at various distances (0-305 cm) from the confederate. Frequency of moves was also recorded. A general pattern of proxemic behavior for all children, across category, was found to exist in which subjects spent the majority of time at distances of 30.5 cm to 122 cm and very little time at greater distances. Analyses of the data also produced differences in proxemic behavior between categories: the popular children spent the majority of their session time close to the confederates (0 to 91.5 cm), and very little time at greater distances. The rejected children made attempts to maintain close distances to their peers but were rejected by the other children which led to a large proportion of time being spent further away from the confederates (152 .5 to 305 cm). The amiable children spent the majority of their time at intermediate distances of 31.5 to 244 cm and the isolated children maintained the longest durations of tine at the greatest distances for all four categories. These findings were discussed in relation to Hall's1 theory of adult personal space zones.

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