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Psychological Review Copyright 1995 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

1995, Vol. 102, No. 3,458-489 0033-295X/95/S3.00

Where Is the Child's Environment? A Group Socialization
Theory of Development
Judith Rich Harris
Middletown, New Jersey

Do parents have any important long-term effects on the development of their child's personality?
This article examines the evidence and concludes that the answer is no. A new theory of development
is proposed: that socialization is context-specific and that outside-the-home socialization takes place
in the peer groups of childhood and adolescence. Intra- and intergroup processes, not dyadic rela-
tionships, are responsible for the transmission of culture and for environmental modification of
children's personality characteristics. The universality of children's groups explains why develop-
ment is not derailed by the wide variations in parental behavior found within and between societies.

In 1983, after many dozens of pages spent reviewing the liter- explain this outcome, I propose a theory of group socialization
ature on the effects parents have on children, Eleanor Maccoby (GS theory), based on the findings of behavioral genetics, on
and John Martin paused for a critical overview of the field of sociological views of intra- and intergroup processes, on psy-
socialization research. They questioned the size and robustness chological research showing that learning is highly context-spe-
of the effects they had just summarized; they wondered whether cific, and on evolutionary considerations.
the number of significant correlations was greater than that ex-
pected by chance. They cited other research indicating that bi- Does the Family Environment Matter?
ological or adoptive siblings do not develop similar personalities
as a result of being reared in the same household. This was their By the time they are adults, adoptive siblings who were reared
conclusion: in the same home will, on average, bear no resemblance to each
other in personality. Biological siblings who were reared in the
These findings imply strongly that there is very little impact of the same home will be somewhat more alike, but still not very sim-
physical environment that parents provide for children and very ilar. Even identical (monozygotic) twins reared in the same
little impact of parental characteristics that must be essentially the home will not be identical in personality. They will not be no-
same for all children in a family . . . Indeed, the implications are ticeably more alike than identical twins reared in separate
either that parental behaviors have no effect, or that the only homes (Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal, & Tellegen, 1990;
effective aspects of parenting must vary greatly from one child to
Plomin & Daniels, 1987; Scarr, 1992).
another within the same family. (Maccoby & Martin, 1983, p. 82)
These are some of the findings of the field of developmental
Since 1983, many developmental psychologists have focused behavioral genetics. The data on which they are based consist of
on the second of Maccoby and Martin's two possible implica- correlations between pairs of people who share all, some, or
tions, "that the only effective aspects of parenting must vary none of their genes, and who did or did not grow up in the same
greatly from one child to another." The other possibility, "that home. Two conclusions—one surprising and the other not—
parental behaviors have no effect," has never been considered as emerged from the analysis of such data. The unsurprising con-
a serious alternative. clusion was that about half of the variance in the measured psy-
This article examines both alternatives. I begin by showing chological characteristics was due to differences in heredity. The
why "must vary greatly from one child to another" cannot ex- surprising conclusion involved the other half of the variance:
plain the results that puzzled Maccoby and Martin. Then I con- Very little of it could be attributed to differences in the home
sider the possibility "that parental behaviors have no effect." environments in which the participants in these studies were
The conclusion reached is that, within the range of families that reared (Loehlin & Nichols, 1976; Plomin, Chipuer, & Neider-
have been studied, parental behaviors have no effect on the psy- hiser, 1994; Plomin & Daniels, 1987; Scarr, 1992).
chological characteristics their children will have as adults. To
Behavioral Genetic Methods and Results
Behavioral genetic studies begin by collecting data—for ex-
ample, scores on personality or intelligence tests—from pairs of
I thank the following people, who do not necessarily agree with the
people. Ideally, data from two or more types of subject pairs,
views presented here, for their helpful comments on earlier versions of
this work: William A. Corsaro, Judith L. Gibbons, Charles S. Harris,
such as twins and adoptive siblings, are combined in the data
Neil J. Salkind, Sandra Scarr, and Naomi Weisstein. analysis. That makes it possible to test different mathematical
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Judith models, based on slightly different assumptions, to see which
Rich Harris, 54 Crawford Road, Middletown, New Jersey 07748. Elec- provides the best fit for the data. The winning model is then
tronic mail may be sent via Internet to 72073.1211 ©compuserve.com. used to divide up the variance calculated from the test scores—
458

THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 459

the individual differences among the subjects—into three, or (1983) second alternative, "that the only effective aspects of
sometimes four, sectors. parenting must vary greatly from one child to another within
The first sector consists of variance that can be attributed to the same family" (p. 82). The unexplained variance was attrib-
shared genes; this is called her liability. Heritability generally ac- uted to within-family environmental differences (Daniels &
counts for 40% to 50% of the variance in personality character- Plomin, 1985; Dunn, 1992; Hoffman, 1991). According to this
istics, if the measurements are made in adulthood (McGue, concept, each child in a family inhabits his or her unique niche
Bouchard, lacono, & Lykken, 1993; N. L. Pedersen, Plomin, in the ecology of the family, and it is within these niches, or
Nesselroade, & McClearn, 1992; Plomin, Owen, & McGuffin, microenvironments (Braungart, Plomin, DeFries, & Fulker,
1994). 1992; Dunn & Plomin, 1990), that the formative aspects of de-
The second sector consists of variance that can be attributed velopment are presumed to occur.
to shared environmental influence—the home in which a given In the past decade, much attention has been focused on these
pair of people were reared. This sector is very small if the mea- microenvironments. That they exist is unquestionable; the
surements are made in adulthood: from 0 to 10% in most stud- question is whether they can account for almost half the vari-
ies (Bouchard, 1994;Loehlin, 1992; Plomin & Daniels, 1987). ance in personality characteristics. The next section summa-
The implication of this finding is that resemblances between rizes the evidence that has led one behavioral geneticist to admit
siblings are due almost entirely to shared genes. Their shared that the matter "remains largely a mystery" (Bouchard, 1994,
environment has not made them more alike. p. 1701) and another to conclude that the family environment
The third sector consists of measurement error, which is (macro- and micro-) may, in fact, "exert little influence on per-
around 20% for personality tests (Plomin, 1990). Some analy- sonality development over the life course" (Rowe, 1994, p. 1).
ses do not produce an estimate for this component of the vari-
ance, in which case it is included in the last sector, which con- Can Within-Family Environmental Differences Explain
sists of variance that can be attributed neither to shared genes the Unexplained Variance?
nor to shared rearing environment (Goldsmith, 1993a). This
sector of the variance is usually referred to as nonshared envi- Why does growing up in the same home not make siblings
ronmental influence, but a more accurate label for it is unex- alike? Perhaps because two children growing up in the same
plained environmental variance. On the average, from 40% to home might have very different experiences in that home. In
50% of the variance in adult personality characteristics falls into particular, their parents might treat them differently. There are
the unexplained or nonshared sector. several possible reasons why parents might treat their children
If heredity can account for only about half of the reliable vari- differently; McCartney and her colleagues (McCartney, Robe-
ation among adults, then environmental influences must ac- son, Jordan, & Mouradian, 1991) have divided them into child-
count for the rest. The challenge is to find the source of these driven, relationship-driven, parent-driven, and family context
influences. Behavioral genetic studies have demonstrated which effects.
aspects of the environment are not likely to be important. The Child-driven effects. If parents do not treat their children
aspects that are not likely to be important are all those that are alike, it may be because the children themselves are not alike.
shared by children who grow up in the same home: the parents' Perhaps one child has a more pleasing personality or is more
personalities and philosophies of child rearing, their presence or physically attractive than the other. There is good evidence that
absence in the home, the number of books or TV sets or guns adults do not behave in the same way to a beautiful child and a
the home contains, and so on. In short, almost all of the factors homely one (Burns & Farina, 1992; Ritter, Casey, & Langlois,
previously associated with the term environment, and associ- 1991), or to an easy child and a difficult one (Lytton, 1990;
ated even more closely with the term n urture, appear to be in- Thomas & Chess, 1977), or to a healthy child and an ill one
effective in shaping children's personalities. (Quittner & Opipari, 1994). The tendency for a child's behav-
ior or appearance to evoke a particular reaction from parents or
other interactive partners is called a reactive effect (also known
Within-Family Environmental Differences as an evocative effect; Scarr & McCartney, 1983). A reactive
This outcome went against the deeply held beliefs of many effect is an example of a gene-environment correlation (Plomin,
developmental psychologists. But, unlike the socialization re- DeFries, & Loehlin, 1977)—a correlation between a geneti-
search that was judged by Maccoby and Martin (1983) to be cally influenced characteristic, such as a pretty face or a pleasing
lacking in robustness, the findings of behavioral genetics are disposition, and a particular environmental variable, such as
quite reliable. The results are consistent within and between doting parents.
studies and cannot readily be explained away (Scarr, 1993). Although gene-environment correlations are often found
Children reared in the same home by the same parents do not, (Plomin & Bergeman, 1991), they contribute primarily to genetic
on average, turn out to be similar unless they share genes, and variance rather than environmental, because their effects are pre-
even if they share all of their genes, they are not as similar as dictable on the basis of the proportion of genes shared. Genetically
one might expect. For identical twins reared in the same home,
correlations of personality characteristics are seldom above .50, 1
A correlation of .50 between twins means that .50 of the variance
which leaves at least 30% of the variance unexplained by shared covaries between them; therefore the correlation accounts for 50% of
genes plus a shared home environment.' the variance in that measure (for a detailed explanation, see Plomin,
Faced with these results, most behavioral geneticists and 1990). Allowing 20% for measurement error leaves 30% of the variance
many socialization theorists turned to Maccoby and Martin's unaccounted for.

460 JUDITH RICH HARRIS

influenced characteristics tend to be most similar in identical alike but the children might interpret their parents' behavior
twins, less similar in fraternal (dizygotic) twins and nontwin bio- differently. In fact, adolescent and adult fraternal twins often
logical siblings, and uncorrelated in adoptive siblings. The effects give differing descriptions of the emotional climate of their
of any environmental influences that are evoked by these charac- childhood home and of the warmth and expressiveness of their
teristics should also be most similar for identical twins and least parents (Plomin, McClearn, Pedersen, Nesselroade, & Berge-
similar for adoptive siblings. This pattern of correlations, identical man, 1988; Rowe, 1981). These conflicting reports, however,
twins > fraternal twins > adoptive siblings, is identified by behav- could represent either different interpretations of the same pa-
ioral genetic models as genetic variance (McGuire, Neiderhiser, rental behavior or accurate reports of differential parental treat-
Reiss, Hetherington, & Plomin, 1994). Thus, it is unlikely that ment. If it could be shown that they were indeed different inter-
reactive effects could account for much of the unexplained envi- pretations of the same events, this would be evidence of a. gene-
ronmental variance. environment interaction. Gene-environment interactions, if
It is possible, however, that reactive effects might act in a way they occurred, would contribute to the unexplained variance;
that turns small differences into larger ones, thereby adding a but attempts to measure such interactions have so far yielded
major environmental effect to a minor genetic one and increas- unpromising results. The few interactions that have been found
ing overall variance by making children less alike. For example, could account for only a negligible portion of variance
children who inherit a tendency to be sociable might elicit more (Loehlin, 1992).2 Moreover, gene-environment interactions
interaction from their parents than introverted children, and cannot explain the personality differences between identical
this extra interaction might cause them to become still more twins.
sociable, producing a positive feedback loop, or what is com- Relationship-driven effects. These effects involve the fit or
monly known as a vicious circle (J. R. Harris & Liebert, 1991). match between a parent's characteristics and a child's. For ex-
There is evidence that positive feedback loops do occur in ample, perhaps the child's temperament does not match the
development (Anderson, Lytton, & Romney, 1986; Moffitt, parent's preferences or expectations (Thomas & Chess, 1977).
1993b). However, as Bell (1968; Bell & Chapman, 1986) However, temperament is a genetically influenced trait
pointed out, there are also negative feedback loops. A child who (Braungart et al., 1992; Goldsmith, 1993b; Robinson, Kagan,
is very active is frequently admonished to sit still; a sluggish Reznick, & Corley, 1992), and therefore the probability of a
child may be tempted into games of catch or tag. Negative feed- match or mismatch with parental preferences should be similar
back loops would reduce variability and make children more for identical twins, less similar for fraternal twins. The pre-
alike. Furthermore, there are reactive effects that could loop in sumed effects would be equivalent to a gene-environment cor-
either direction: Timidity in a child, for example, might elicit relation—one that is specific to a particular parent. Differences
either parental protectiveness or parental anger. Thus, different between fraternal twins would be increased to a greater degree
characteristics engender different feedback loops—positive, than differences between identical twins. To account for the un-
negative, or unpredictable. If these effects were responsible for explained variance, we need effects that are not correlated with
an important part of the unexplained variance, we would ex- the proportion of genes shared—effects that can explain the
pect that sector of the variance to vary in magnitude according differences in personality between identical twins reared in the
to the characteristic that is being measured: It should be large same home.
for characteristics in which the feedback loop is likely to be pos- Parent-driven effects. Parents might treat their children
itive and small for those in which it is likely to be negative. In- differently for reasons of their own. A parent might have a par-
stead, we find that the portion of the variance attributed to un- ticular reason for favoring or rejecting a particular child: for
explained environmental influence is remarkably uniform for a example, because the child was unwanted—its conception was
wide variety of personality characteristics (Plomin & Daniels, unplanned (David, 1992). However, this hypothesis cannot ex-
1987; Tellegenetal., 1988). plain the findings of behavioral genetic studies, which are based
What about child-driven differences in experiences that are largely on data from twins and adopted children. The timing of
not due to differential treatment by the parents? For example, conception is the same for twins, and adoption seldom occurs
children tend to experience different illnesses or injuries. How- by accident.
ever, such differences are likely to average out over the course of Another possibility is that a child might be treated in a par-
childhood, unless there is a tendency for a particular child to ticular way by a parent, not because of that child's own charac-
suffer repeated illnesses or accidents. In this case, a genetically teristics, but because of the characteristics of his or her sibling.
influenced characteristic is likely to be involved—a biological Schachter and Stone (1985) found that parents who consider
susceptibility that predisposes the child to illness, or an active their first child to be "difficult" tend to label their second-born
and impulsive temperament that makes the child accident-
prone (Jaquess & Finney, 1994). Again, identical twins are 2
likely to be most similar and adopted children least similar in Two kinds of gene-environment interactions may prove to be reli-
able. In the first, the genotypic trait is biological sex: Males and females
this respect, and if there are effects on personality they will fall
may respond differently to the same environmental stimuli. This kind
mostly into the sector of variance attributed to heredity. of interaction is irrelevant to the present discussion because the subject
A final child-driven mechanism that has been proposed to pairs in behavioral genetic studies are almost always of the same sex.
account for the lack of similarity between reared-together sib- The second kind of interaction involves children who are biologically at
lings is that different children might experience or interpret en- risk (e.g., those with neurological impairments). Such children may be
vironmental events in different ways (Hoffman, 1991; Kagan, especially vulnerable to the effects of unfavorable environments
1984). For example, parents might treat two children exactly (Moffitt, 1993b;Wachs, 1992).

MacKinnon. Socialization is the process by which & Plomin. stronger. if there is one. existing differences between them. 1994). The fact that a parent-driven birth- ery firstborn child has been the sole recipient of parental atten. Dunn & that does provide a way to distinguish parent-driven causes McGuire. 1989). thereby widening any pre. Falbo & Poston. 57). The relationship between siblings. They found that many of the studies were flawed. they may be keenly aware of how much they get relative Retherford & Sewell. and because large vironments play a causal role in the shaping of their personali- amounts of birth-order data are available. the second. Although a mother behaves in a different personalities. any systematic effects ties. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 461 "easy. and this Conclusions. 1986. because when two siblings are found to have detectable in birth-order data. There is one within-family variable tion than an older one (Brody & Stoneman. she will also different age is eligible to participate. she will pay more attention to the younger one. Ev. . Further evidence of the ineffectiveness of the family mi. 1991). Plomin. 24 months (Dunn. There are clear and reliable mothers and 86% of British mothers said they felt more affec- differences in the experiences these two children will have. might be called the "Mom always loved you best" syndrome. It is undoubtedly true that children who grow older sibling was for a long time larger. of microenvironmental processes should be readily detectable. order studies are easy to do. not appear to play an important role in the formation of adult personality characteristics. Dunn socialization of the child. Corter. any systematic differences found between them can mothers they studied were willing to admit that they loved one be attributed to the order of their arrival and their different po. when a mother is taking care of both from child-driven effects: birth order. Ernst & Angst. group The results go against the expectations of professionals and socialization (GS) theory. there is evidence that. Here again. Rowe. Stone. Thus. The firstborn is reared by inexperienced par. and more up in the same home have different experiences. 1992). graphic variables. however. and it is also knowledgeable. no birth-order effects were found on personality. As Dunn and Plomin (1990) admitted. It is difficult to test this hy. not imply that children can get along without parents. Unlike twin studies.582 young would develop into the same sort of adults if we left them in their adults and on a survey of the world literature on birth-order and homes.3 The birth-order findings call into question two other hypoth. lished between 1946 and 1980 in which birth-order data were reported. an infant becomes an acceptable member of his or her society— is determined partly by birth order: In most families. there is usually no way of de. tion. and they are not." and vice versa. behavioral genetic methods do not enable us to distinguish born by parents who are usually more relaxed and more com. within the home that may prove useful outside of it. anyone who has a sibling of a Furthermore. are emotionally attached to their parents (and vice versa). What GS theory implies is that children Angst's conclusion. it is very small. Every second-born child has always had a sibling. Children croenvironment is provided by comparisons between only chil. 1986)—her behavior effect problem "is a notoriously intractable issue" (p. Ernst and are not questioned. Brody. based on their own study of 7. 1990. Sib. Presumably. the older is the leader and model. causes from effects. 1994). children at once. 1985. order difference of this magnitude has no consistent effects on tion for at least a year and has then had to relinquish that posi. The theory presented in the remainder of this article. true that they end up with different personalities. but switched all the parents around. even if children are not aware of trols were used. (1990) reported that two thirds of the American and British ond-born. especially socioeconomic class. the effects of such differential treatment should be pothesis directly. does depend on the child's age: A younger child gets more atten- Family context effects. 1990). & at 24 months is similar to her behavior toward the firstborn at Li. the cause-or. against the efficacy of within-family environmental differences. are the same age—that is. the development of a child's personality is strong evidence tion and compete with a rival who was in greater need of atten. and their cultural or family-size effects. It is important to note that this theory does 1983). and the differences are correlated with remarkably consistent fashion to her two children when they differences in parental treatment. Because there should be give more affection to the younger one. One of the important roles of parents is presumed to be the tween the siblings themselves (Daniels & Plomin. However. are dren and children with siblings: Having a sibling or not having dependent on them for protection and care. Of this group. but current ents who may still be ill at ease in their new role. The first is that adult personality is shaped in part by the relationship be. these facts 1983. 1985. It is time to look elsewhere. 1992. and learn skills one also has no consistent effects on personality (Ernst & Angst. due to the lack of ling relationship effects should therefore be detectable in birth- proper controls. Dunn & Plomin. 1986. was that socialization within the family does subcultural groups. When the proper con- The final hypothesis is that. birth order was often confounded with other demo- order data. 1990)—what differently toward the two children. from studies of children with and without siblings cast serious Because the microenvironments of older and younger siblings doubt on the hypothesis that children's within-family microen- differ in important and consistent ways. the younger is the follower and imitator 3 (Abramovitch. & Stanhope. her behavior toward the second-born termining which is cause and which is effect (Rodgers. the parents would then act to their siblings (Dunn. Ernst and Angst (1983) searched the literature for every study pub- man. birth. Context-Specific Socialization eses about differential within-family environments. the parental home. 80% of American sitions in the family constellation. Falbo & Polit. Pepler. explains the shaping of adult person- nonprofessionals alike: Birth order has no consistent effects on ality characteristics in terms of the child's experiences outside adult personality (Dunn & Plomin. Dunn and Plomin no systematic genetic differences between a firstborn and a sec. on average. 1994. 1993). & Daniels. tion for the younger child. Zukow. child more than the other. data from birth-order studies and petent at the job (Kreppner. & MacKinnon. the absolute amount of attention or affection they get from their Whether there is a birth-order effect on intelligence is still unclear (see parents. their neighborhoods. their schools.

that children might fail to Language is the most conspicuous marker of the bicultural pick up useful innovations unless the innovator happened to be child's context-dependent socialization. Rowe (1994) has pointed out that it would not seldom intermix them unless they hear others doing so make evolutionary sense for children to learn only from their (Genesee. Goncii. 294) and it has been reiterated many times since comes with a warning: What you learn in one context will not (e. Rovee-Collier (1993) performed a home. 1994). and characters they separate language modules controlled by the flip of a toggle. if the liner draped around the playpen was changed from yellow with green squares Although the differences between home and outside-the- to green with yellow squares—6-month-old infants would home behaviors are not as obvious in a child who speaks only merely gape at the mobile as though they had never seen it be. or selves. 1992). Context and Personality imental setup was changed—for example. Thus. at the same time. With the original liner in place. the other language to those that occurred outside the be highly context-specific. the social motivations that cause a child to use one language (or accent or manner of learning. be quite different: In the home they may be reprimanded for 5 The term selves is often used by theorists who believe that behavior mistakes and praised when they behave appropriately. Deaux & Major. but the assumption their parent. Greer & Stewart. Variables of this kind play no special they behave appropriately. 1992). 1993). . "Many bilingual people say that they think Children can learn from many sources. for bilingual search points to the context-specificity. this view ents—a learning mechanism that is "general with respect to in- is similar to the alternation model of biculturalism proposed formational source" (p. nonfamily adults and children (Maccoby known as code switching—as though her mind contained two & Jacklin. 1974. offered by the child of immigrant parents. in particular. one language. the child will learn the local language in order to communicate plicit instruction—they are expected to learn the necessary with her peers (Baron. It appears that the infant starts out life with social contexts is not new. How- parents) and how to behave when they are not at home. 1989). 1989. & Baker. yet. Mistry. Fine. 1984). 1992). Perry & Bussey. Deaux & home. demand very different behaviors in the home and outside the home. it would mean. 1992).. 194). but they imitate many other people as well: older sib. perience in their two languages" (p. situation-specificity. see on television (deMarrais. Lasater & Even when two languages are acquired simultaneously. 1993.5 in different weeks after training. may also vocabulary) rather than another are not specific to language. 1987. 1990. for example. In addition to behavior. William James stated it quite clearly a learning mechanism that can learn from any source but that in 1890 (p. The ever. possesses Code Switching the requisite skills. not just par- selectively associated with the two different contexts. this child too will develop contextually linked pat- fore. Western societies cross-situational generalization. Very early learning. although language may be acquired in a specialized way. The observation they showed evidence of recall (by kicking a foot) as long as 2 that individuals adopt different personas. and holds the prevailing beliefs and attitudes. will switch back and forth between them with ease—a process lings (Zukow. If the language4 used Verbal instruction is less likely to be important. knows the language. Coleman. children Johnson. because in in their home is different from the language of the community. the home language will be contextually linked to behav- Major. 1989. Tooby & ioral. from two different caregivers or in two different contexts. parents. because it is a specialized skill for which separately how to behave at home (or in the presence of their humans appear to be uniquely adapted (Pinker & Bloom. According to Kolers (1968/1975). differently and respond with different emotions to the same ex- their learning can be highly context-specific. also been observed that an individual's alternate personalities What children learn in the context of their home may not. and emotional responses that occurred at Cosmides. 1989. Children learn from other kinds of learning. and Gerton (1993). appears to home. 1994. This resemblance need not be taken as evidence for in fact.462 JUDITH RICH HARRIS one who behaves appropriately. It is generally assumed that an important method of social. It is true that language acquisition may differ in some ways is a highly context-dependent form of learning. displays of emotion that are acceptable in 4 the home are unacceptable outside of it (Dencik. work in the world outside the home. If any detail of the exper. By the time she is in first or sec- skills and behaviors by observation (Rogoff. 190). Nelson. A central assumption of GS theory is that socialization behavior. The alternate personalities are. & ond grade she will be a competent speaker of both languages. and emotions. or children who use one language at home and another outside the domain-specificity of learned behavior (Ceci. Mosier. Rowe postulated an innate adaptive mechanism made here is that other variations in learned behavior are also that directs the child to learn from any source. out of in various contexts is controlled or influenced by mediating variables the home they may be ridiculed for mistakes and ignored when such as self-esteem or self-concept. Mischel & Shoda. 1989). 1995). Garner. only a day after training. p. Young children do imitate their parents in all using one language in her home and the other outside of it. The clearest illustration of context-specific socialization is ization in all societies is imitation of the parents by the child. It has necessarily work in another. many preindustrial societies children are given little or no ex. cognitive. Within the Home and Outside of It 133) and triggered by contextual cues. role in GS theory. series of experiments in which young babies learned to kick one foot in order to make a mobile move. for example. Language is used here as a paradigmatic example of a socialized 1981). Lanza. 1987. bear more than a passing resemblance to each other (see Car- son. Much current re.g. She societies. patterns of cognitive and emotional responses may be "contextually linked" to each other (Rovee-Collier. the reinforcement contingencies. 1993. terns of behavior. cognitions. by LaFromboise.

tence of those groups. 78). "Rattlers" and the "Eagles" was evident even before the groups cut distinction between the family environment and the out. Be. of personality. In the case of the 11-year-old boys the forager child does not have to learn how to behave in two at the Robbers Cave summer camp. 1973) showed that it is not necessary to create modern-day mobile societies. That the behavior of groups differs different. demographically homogeneous. who knew teem) that were experienced in. Three or more are a group if they are allied positive responses from other interactive partners as well. who were their mother and with the other members of their group. is not found exclusively in (Billig & Tajfel. The result was strong. any more "cussing" because the other group. Both customs may be different from those of the group. and are associated with. Mates are ordinarily obtained from outside the group. that is acquired in a particular social group to other groups. More strikingly. 1961..and intergroup behavior. consists of an in. 1986). however. there is much overlap and no pri. three's a crowd. They must learn what is expected of them in each the magnitude of assumed intergroup differences" (p. Privatization of the home is a (Sherif etal. "used marily a group process. to some extent. a sociable temperament. "As- Rybczynski. According to Wilder (1986). no more than 400 years old (Hareven. A later experiment guages of two different cultures. behavior in every context. Out-group hostility. 50). For forager children there is no clear. as denned here. 1985. her study (Sherif. they can be observed in natural set- system will be used to refer to the context-specific component tings and are readily evoked under laboratory conditions. their own group than to the other group. that each other from school. they wanted to "run them off" vacy (Draper & Cashdan. who must learn the customs and lan.. group is accompanied by hostility toward the out-group. In the next section I review relevant determined characteristics such as aspects of temperament will findings on intra. in important ways from the behavior of individuals has long An individual's personality.and intergroup behavior described mental component that is context-specific. 1988). Between-group contrast. the experimenter divided the boys into two groups: Half the cause experiences in different contexts tend to have a certain boys were privately informed that they were "overestimators" degree of consistency. Sometimes the tendency to favor the in- often through barter or warfare (Wilson & Daly. Eagles playing in the distance." Then each be very different and the personality is reasonably stable. p. contexts. sumptions of differences between groups arise even when there eties go back and forth between their privatized homes and the is no justification for those inferences other than the mere exis- world outside the home—two environments that seldom over. been recognized. Hood. rather than the result of dyadic interac. into his laboratory. and an environ. In order to studies began with about two dozen carefully screened young survive. with each other in some way or similar to each other along some a child's experiences in separate social contexts may not be very socially relevant dimension. socialization outside the home is pri. Tajfel (1970) brought a group of boys. p. It is defined as follows: a pattern of behavior. taking ease. context-specific. encountered each other: The first time the Rattlers heard the side-the-family environment. Be. her children will have to interact successfully both with male participants. 1972) and the Robbers Cave may speak a different dialect or even a different language. is built upon and modified by environmental influences. the per. will also affect the way oth. The Basic Phenomena of Group Behavior sonality has two components: a genetic component that accom- panies the individual wherever he or she goes. This can be demonstrated with breath- context. Children in contemporary urbanized soci. and introduce the theory. Two cause the majority of human societies are patrilocal. Group Processes ers react to the child in every context.. groups tend explicitly be told that the group assignments are random and to be small and most of the people in them are related to each they will still favor their own group. nate substratum that. the alternate behavioral systems may not and the other half that they were "underestimators. identical twins—they bear the same genes. 106). they gave more rewards to The bicultural child. evoke positive responses from their parents are likely to evoke two are a dyad. The environment. even Unlike the child in a contemporary Western society. recent innovation. in. it is the classic experiments provide vivid demonstrations: the prisoners woman who is more likely to be a newcomer to the group. intergroup hostility. the Eagles decided not to do According to the theory. Children whose charac- teristics (e. Genetically tions between individuals. during development. GS theory pertains chiefly to outside-the-home socialization. discuss some theo- be carried along from one context to another and will affect retical approaches to these findings. She and guards study (Zimbardo. including physical appearance.g. The phenomena of intra. persons act to increase lap. 1992). this child's task may be an a fictitious criterion for dividing up the groups. participants can ancient one. Harvey. In-group favoritism. The term behavioral in this section are robust. The boys were context. randomly divided into two groups. In the Robbers Cave experiment. . self-es. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 463 in effect. asked to estimate the number of dots flashed on a screen. other. White. Although their own Code Switching in Traditional Societies reward was not in question. boy was asked to specify how monetary rewards should be dis- tributed to the other boys in the laboratory. and the various cognitions and emotions (e. 1961.g. violent. Pur- Because there are alternate behavioral systems for different portedly on the basis of their responses (but in fact randomly). 1961). animosity between the entirely separate contexts. personality is. persons in question are the members of the groups themselves.. More precisely. the Rattlers. Genetically determined characteris- tics. in fact. In forager (hunter-gatherer) societies. an appealing smile) Two's company. cuss-words all the time" (Sherif etal. and although they did not know which boys belonged to their group. For the present purposes. Thus. Members of a group prefer their own cluding language or accent. & Sherif.

Brewer & Weber. they will tend to though crying under such circumstances was permitted among operate simultaneously most of the time" (p. What causes movement along this contin. divide the world into 'us' versus 'them' " therefore a person's self-categorization) is highly situation-spe. volve a delicate balance between "individual identity" and group assimilation. The tendency to see her own group as selves" (p. on their own. their behavior ticular group. But these two processes are not the Rattlers involved being "tough"—not a sissy (Sherif et al." noted Asch. she is also motivated to compare her own group with came from within the subject. another group and to evaluate her own group as different from. is the mo- pants in Asch's (1952/1987) experiments on group confor. When a Rattler sustained a minor injury. into member of a group.and intragroup behavior. p. The boys differentiated themselves in other ways as here are Tesser's self-evaluation maintenance theory and Brew- well: One Rattler adopted the role of group clown. cific. some- 1992). there is a continuum between ural setting by chimpanzees (Goodall. "Most subjects. the members of smaller groups. un- group there are differences in social status and dominance der some circumstances. About a year later. No pressure was applied to the college-age partici. "see a disturbance created. "When the other salient by male. chimpanzees inhabit social contexts that in- attitudes" (Turner. like humans. This Group Behavior of Other Primates theory postulates that people can categorize themselves in vari- ous ways and on various levels. ranging all the way from a The three social-cognitive theories just described were de- unique individual \o a human being. chimpanzees saw these cripples for the first time. Turner be- the Eagles.464 JUDITH RICH HARRIS Within-group assimilation. The urge to conform relative. A polio epidemic struck the chimpanzee troop that ple. not by the majority. all that happened vated to evaluate themselves positively. is the relative salience of the annihilating the other. though this position could be short-lived and statuses changed Two other social-cognitive theories that should be mentioned over time. standards. "where two or more categories appear simul. The salience of social categories (and panzees. & Adler. The individuals who make up creates differences between two groups or causes preexisting a group are not identical and interchangeable. he did not cry. 330). the major phenomena of inter. one group succeeded in adopted at a given point in time. However. including the paradoxical ilation and differentiation. they identify with that group and take on its [toward the cripples] became increasingly aggressive" (p. favorably distinctive results in between-group contrast (which Within-group differentiation. Tesser's (1988) theory ex- dubbed "Nudie" for having been the first to swim in the nude plains what Scarr and Grajek (1982) called "niche picking"— (Sherif etal. Because group evaluations are were unanimous and clearly incorrect. according to Turner. Brewer's (1991. so someone who has cat- was that the seven other "subjects" in the room—actually con. and a few of the animals became ence of members of the category child. inclusive finding that the members of a group become more similar to groups will be more motivated to differentiate themselves than each other (assimilation) and. group norms are often en. According to Goodall. The part of this range that signed to account for the behavioral phenomena of human is of interest here begins at a unique individual and extends groups. 1). two smaller groups. People are moti- mity. more dissimilar (differentiation). the other. Differentiation occurs when people catego. Kless. In children's groups. an Asian American. For exam. the social category adult is made more salient by the pres. lead to hostility toward the out- (Hartup. One promising approach is the self-categorization theory proposed by Turner (1987). and beliefs about appropriate conduct and Like humans. general tendency to show fear or aggression toward anything taneously. (P-111). It is heightened Chimpanzees' hostility toward "them" may be related to a by a comparison. "rules. not dichotomous choices—"On the contrary. overt "peer pressure" is not usually where between "me" and "us. tive to improve or maintain one's self-esteem. as their fear decreased. From the point of view of the subject. egorized herself as a female college student is motivated to eval- federates of the experimenter—gave perceptual judgments that uate that group in a positive way. dle of the individual identity-group identity continuum. Individual identity and group identity are 1961). Turner's theory has something to say about all boys in each group were regarded by the others as leaders. 1987. The group norm adopted by rize themselves as individuals. 1994) theory is based on the Theoretical explanations of group behavior must account for idea that people must reconcile their opposing needs for assim- the phenomena described above. strange. 462). but by them. 1961). Among the Rattlers and the Eagles. "group identity. 1983). either actually or symbolically" (p. many of the same phenomena have also been through various nested or overlapping group identities such as observed in nonhuman primates. As Russell (1993) concluded.. it varies over time and in different contexts. female is made more partially paralyzed. they reacted When individuals categorize themselves as members of a par. and a college student. a murderous war broke uum." necessary. and determines which particular self-categorization is out between the two groups. Goodall (1986) was observing. 120). one or two group). 1986). This is the source of within. the way people in groups (especially small groups such as families) carve out identities of their own by differentiating Social-Cognitive Theories of Group Processes themselves only in those areas that are important to them.. and better than. "Chim- various social categories. the members of large. The experiment of dividing a female. subjects randomly into two groups was approximated in a nat- According to Turner (1987)." Within most nonhuman primate groups there . A troop of chim- self-categorization as an individual and self-categorization as a panzees that Goodall was observing split up. What drives these processes. lieves that people generally spend most of their time in the mid- forced by ridiculing nonconformists (Adler. 50). For older groups. Within every differences to widen) and in-grdup favoritism (which can. over the same period of time. with extreme fear. another was er's optimal distinctiveness theory. Thus. eventually. mutually exclusive.

ies?" (Joshua 5:13). 1993). nesia (Knowlton & Squire. and camp? forming successful dyadic relationships—may be carried out by three separate mechanisms that operate independently and Cognitive Considerations respond to different kinds of input. Russell. for Brewer. there are specialized psychological mechanisms that have evolved to Motivational Considerations solve particular adaptive problems encountered by our ances- tors. Turner (1987) described his theory as "a cogni. for optimal distinctiveness. which took place more than 3. Tesser. Before the battle of Jericho. p. Humans can belong simul- egories. mean rejecting social-cognitive theories of group processes. It is also clear that some form of cognition must be involved. it is the search nisms pertain to group behavior. 465). none of these motives seems adequate to account for special-purpose psychological mechanisms designed to solve the powerful emotions generated by intergroup relations. and so on. the motivating force behind group processes is the our ancestors. as Skin. Categori. Evolutionary psychology can account for the emotional tive (or social-cognitive) elaboration of the nature of social power of group processes (adaptations that evolved to solve sur- identity as a higher order level of abstraction in the perception vival or reproductive problems tend to be associated with strong of self and other" (p. The first accounts are more likely than complex ones to be true" question he asked the stranger was. The foundation consists of four built-in predispositions. it is the need to critical to their survival. They can identify with a group even if it cial-cognitive theories presuppose too much brain power and never assembles in one place and even if they have never met all provide too little emotional power. Tesser (1988). these within-group struggles for dominance cease plained in terms of a small number of jack-of-all-trades mecha- abruptly when aggression is redirected toward an outside target. homework—account for the fierce emotions and warlike behav." and "initiating dyadic tive that seems insufficient to make a preadolescent boy do his relationships characterized by cooperation and reciprocity" (p. and which our ancestors had to solve in order to become For Turner. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 465 are frequent struggles as individual animals attempt to defend Evolutionary psychologists Buss (1991) and Cosmides and or improve their position in the dominance hierarchy. 475). achieving status within the group. included in his list are "participating in cooperating Brewer (1991) pointed out. for Tesser. informing it that it is an overestimator. sumptions. "People die for the sake of group groups. 1993) and even in pigeons The theories of Turner (1987). Interest. GS theory is based on a view of human group behavior that regards the phenomena described by Turner. appear to be required (special-purpose devices can carry out we are unlikely to evoke group affiliation in a chimpanzee by specific jobs with a minimum of equipment).000 pirical evidence that the world is actually simple or that simple years ago. and a category is a kind of concept (Fiske & Taylor. is an intellectual with all the members of their group must have been true for a very long exercise of great elegance. In humans. desirable members of the opposite sex. nisms (such as operant conditioning) that serve a wide variety such as the members of another troop (de Waal. The other phenomena of group behavior—the emotional one to the other. because a group is a cate. or ev- ble amount of data with the smallest possible number of as. for the basic "us versus them" (1991) provide good descriptions of aspects of human group phenomena of group behavior to occur. olutionary adaptations. that humans share with other primates. 645). However. in response to changes aspects—do not require cognitive explanations. There is no question that higher order emotions) and for the fact that higher mental processes do not cognitive processes do play a role in human group behavior. of its members6—or. The human body contains specialized organs to 1993). a category is a very simple kind of concept. so. There is no reason to expect them to processes is that they demand a rather high level of cognitive be mutually exclusive. 42). "There is scant em. without moving an inch. How can a desire for self-esteem—a mo. and Brewer Evolutionary Considerations as elaborations built on a much older and deeper foundation. They may make use of different motivational sticks or carrots and follow different de- A second problem with social-cognitive theories of group velopmental trajectories. and Brewer (Wasserman. What Buss is saying is that these three different jobs— ior of the preadolescent boys at the Robbers Cave summer affiliating with a group. 1994. As them. only two cognitive steps behavior that are not found in chimpanzee groups and that re- are necessary: (a) categorization that results in at least two cat." "besting members of one's own sex to gain access to distinctions" (p. . 6 That humans do not necessarily have personal acquaintanceship ner (1938) did in The Behavior of Organisms. in relative salience. Joshua met a stranger outside the walls of the town. many of these special-purpose mecha- maintain a positive self-evaluation. Logically. of functions. quire social-cognitive explanations. solve particular adaptive problems—the intestines digest food. for that matter. any of its members. Because accommodation to a group lifestyle was desire to increase one's self-esteem. and (b) identification of one of the categories with the taneously to many groups and can shift their allegiance from self. 1991). & Belitz. Shrader-Frechette. Tooby (1992) do not believe that human behavior can be ex- ingly. sophistication. Similarly. The Assumptions of Group Socialization Theory gory. To postulate only a few simple "laws" and to use them to explain all of human and nonhuman behavior. creased salience of group identity. time. Unfortunately. Even if we consider only human Buss (1991) has listed some problems that are likely to have groups. the lungs oxygenate the blood. 1989. The ambition of theorists is to account for the greatest possi. this finding would be attributed to the in. Accepting the views of evolutionary psychologists does not zation has been reported in brain-damaged patients with am. In short. "Are you for us or for our adversar- (Oreskes.

In the lunchroom Children's Groups and. If the number of children that "break free from this individualistic emphasis" (p. ads and triads are almost always composed of individuals who The top diagram (Figure 1 A) summarizes Rowe's (1994) view . Eckerman & Didow. sex segregation breaks down. or psychological group (Turner. Among nonhuman primates. but exclusive focus on the individual. These two contrasting approaches are depicted in Figure 1. The second is fear of. recent evidence suggests that it is present in infancy (Eimas & but the gender distinction is primary (Schofield. They are composed of individuals who (Brooks & Lewis. Improving one's status portant here. 1993. 1960). but the cidated in the remainder of this article. 1992). Tulkin. Lamborn. 1991). customs of child rearing and patterns of parent. groups of adolescence are based on athletic.. The third is cial category. in a given locality is small. 1981). sex segregation is created and maintained by the children them- selves. Walker-Andrews. and which influences for children of their own sex (Fagot. from which they take their rules. age segregation is sanctioned by the educational system. and sex discriminations are made very early. the basis of in-group favoritism. 217). to which they relate themselves subjec- they have never met before—at an age when they are wary of tively for social comparison and the acquisition of norms and val- strange adults (Brooks & Lewis. (Hirschfeld. Bahrick. Children do not appear to cial class. 1993. 1993) also appear at an early age. and younger aunts and uncles (Edwards. in the classroom. 180). can best achieve a correct view of a person by ignoring his group Girls' groups tend to be fragmented—they split up into dyads relations" (p. 1987). Corsaro and Eder (1990). If the school is racially or ethnically mixed. and on proclivities such as drug use and delinquency make racial distinctions before they are of preschool age (Brown. standards and beliefs 1988). sex. it would seem unlikely that human different criteria to divide up into smaller groups. The of a social category even if it does not assemble in one place. strangers. 1994. or academic For humans categorizing other humans. in contrast. There is evidence According to GS theory. That is also a good description of socialization. that are segregated both by age and by sex (Hartup. and triads (Maccoby & Jacklin. rela. where children are brought together in large numbers for tionships of this type are seen mainly between mother and schooling.1992). close dyadic The mixed-age groups in forager and small village societies relationships. dividual basis" (p. & Steinberg. adolescents use egorize (Wasserman. 1992). Whiting. 1981). As soon as they are able to move around on their own. even in the face of adult disapproval. 1988. . infant interaction vary widely from culture to culture believe that developmental psychology has been held back by its (Leiderman. LeFurgy. rhe. The first step in human group affiliation is the categorization a girls' side of the room and a boys' side (Sadker & Sadker. as defined by age. The ity development—were discussed earlier. the ability to categorize is an achievement of toddlerhood. But it is wrong to assume that we (Edwards. sex. 1992. 1976) before they are a year old. 1977. belong to the same stable social category. or hostility to.Mandler. outside-the-home socialization in that infants make categorical distinctions between men and urbanized societies takes place in these peer groups—the sex- women (Leinbach & Fagot. they will divide up into sep- arate gender groups. The others will be elu. 1985). Maccoby. of people into groups. the play group will consist of children Asch (1952/1987) made a similar recommendation almost 40 of both sexes and a range of ages. and they fit Turner's preferential attraction to others "like me" (Diamond. that are common in primate groups and that tend to be short. In adolescence. Stevenson & Stevenson. Quinn. 1989. and orangutans will leave their own troop in order to play with a young conspecific in another troop Plomin and Rende (1991) recommended that we think about if no playmates are available in their own (Fagen. Some of spend much of their time. there will be a girls' table and a boys' table. Children can categorize themselves as members within a group brings greater access to scarce resources. cousins. fourth causes us to seek. 1983). segregated groups of middle childhood and the cliques or Raglioni. Mounts.. Although Piaget (1952) believed that the Thorne. 1992). 1985). 1986). It is the so- in-group favoritism to produce out-group hostility. on distinctions of race. langurs. the top three cues interests and abilities. H. when they are not at home. more children might also split into separate racial or ethnic groups. 1994. that is im- within-group jockeying for status. Eckert. and enables us to form. the groups generally consist of unrelated individuals offspring. I am not referring here to the strategic alliances generally consist of (or include) siblings. The peer infants are incapable of doing so. which joins with and other locally relevant factors (Hallinan. W. & Rosenfeld. if permitted. Year-old infants are interested in and attracted to other infants—including those A psychological group is defined as one that is psychologically sig- nificant for the members. and so- are age. infant monkeys leave their mothers in order to play with other young monkeys (Napier& Napier. half-siblings. 1963). 1976. (pp. Schlegel & Barry. 1993. 1993). ethnicity. (1987) definition of a psychological group: & Blass. In societies lived. the years earlier: "It is correct to urge that we should strive to see children generally divide up into age. I am referring to love. \bung baboons. environmental effects on development "on an individual-by-in- In humans. their attitudes and behavior. but age Schofield. 238). 1 -2) The young of all primates are strongly attracted to one an- other. social. ues . . if the number is larger.and sex-segregated groups persons in their uniqueness. Cultural Transmission sus macaques. & Diaz. School-age children in urbanized societies Table 1 summarizes the assumptions of GS theory. in groups these assumptions—notably the context-specificity of personal. Indeed.466 JUDITH RICH HARRIS The first is group affiliation. and race (Fiske. 1987) —but these unstable dy. 1993). of the same age. 1991) and between adults and children crowds of adolescence. if pigeons can cat. they are beginning to show a preference about appropriate conduct and attitudes. 1990. they advocated approaches the children's play group is universal. Signs of a categorize themselves in the same way. By the age of 2.

the group identification that is salient at any given moment depends on social context. Humans have the ability to identify with more than one group. Status hierarchies within the group—differences in dominance or widen differences among social power—exist in all primate groups. less similar in other ways. 2. Within-group assimilation and within-group differentiation are not mutually exclusive. Assimilation and 1. gender. According to Rowe. 3. group-to-group: from the par. In humans. As children get older. group processes Culture is transmitted from the parents' peer group (and from other cultural sources) to the children's peer group. or neigh- different model of transmission. methods. Primates are predisposed. Differences in status tend individuals to persist and. 2. During childhood. 2. 3. the outside-the-home behavioral system takes precedence over the inside-the-home system and eventually becomes part of the adult personality. teach. Gusii infants are no longer force- children who influence each other: Adults influence each other fed by blocking their nostrils and forcing them to aspirate millet . In particular. This is a within-group process that results in assimilation—the group members become more alike. may have lasting effects on personality. Within-group assimilation and between-group contrast are most differentiation likely to occur when group identity is salient. Child-rearing prac- tices and values vary greatly from one generation to another The Parents' Peer Group (Alwin. ethnicity. children move through a series of these child-created cultures. in-group favoritism and out-group hostility produce group contrast effects. a group of women who dividual-to-individual basis. Children can become more similar to their peers in some ways (socialization) and. borhood may be more similar to each other in their child-rear- ents' group to the children's group. 1988. Identification with a group entails taking on the group's attitudes and norms of behavior. 2. 2. children can ac. and (in adolescence) abilities and interests. In-group favoritism and out-group hostility derive from adaptive widen differences between mechanisms acquired through evolution and found in humans and groups other primates. 2. Parents do not transmit their culture directly to their children. ethnic group. Transmission of culture via 1. The group that children identify with when they are outside the home is the peer group—a group of others who share socially relevant characteristics such as age. which widen differences between groups or create differences if there were none to begin with. Children's peer groups create their own culture by selecting and rejecting various aspects of the adult culture and by making cultural innovations of their own. as well. for evolutionary reasons. thing one learns from one's own parents. GS theory (Figure IB) generates a are members of the same social class. Group identity is most salient when other groups are present. Personality consists of an innate core plus acquired. it is not only developed societies. Between-group processes that 1. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 467 Table I The Assumptions of Group Socialization Theory Component Assumption Context-specific socialization 1. Source of outside-the-home 1. Children who come from atypical homes do not transfer their atypical home behaviors to the peer group. In Kenya. of cultural transmission. Children transfer behavior learned at home to the peer group only if it is shared by. Although child rearing is often alleged to be some- ers. ing practices than they are to their parents. 1953). the majority of members of the peer group. Social comparisons within the peer group give children information about their own strengths and weaknesses and result in typecasting of individuals by other members of the group. and this is true not only in According to the model shown in Figure IB. Within-group processes that 1. other children—but the knowledge is transmitted on an in. to affiliate with socialization and adapt to a group. Wolfenstein. 4. 3. Children learn separately how to behave at home and how to and personality development behave outside the home. over the same period of time. in humans. context-specific behavioral systems. and approved by. they influence each other's child-rearing quire cultural knowledge from many sources—parents.

In Mexico. 1994). For example. the likelihood that a woman will peer groups of the children themselves. gruel (LeVine & LeVine. as shown in Figure IB. Most of the parenting (Salzinger. in the group. The networks may include relatives and dis. most of the behaviors and attitudes that one and stressful and are more likely to violate societal norms by child learns at home will also be learned by the other children physically abusing their children (Melson. that are common to the majority of the children in the group tant friends. but they consist in large part of parents of the same are accessible to the group as a whole. but they prob- dren go to the same schools or day-care centers. B: Transmission is from group to group (group socialization theory). 1994). 1990). also known as maternal support net. 1988). see also Riley. In the United States. 1990). any behaviors or attitudes Salzinger. 1990. & Hsu. children ably will. transmission is from individual to individual (Rowe. A: The child can acquire cultural knowledge and behavior from many sources. school cafeteria. breast-feed her child varies according to her ethnic group and whether or not she has gone to college (Bee. thus.468 JUDITH RICH HARRIS Child. Baranowski. if the majority of the children learned to of a given social class who live in the same neighborhood and go speak English and to eat with a spoon and fork at home. the children are not com- social class who live in the same neighborhoods and whose chil. is works. The path of cultural transmission. Peer groups of mothers. Two views of the transmission of culture from one generation to the next. Mothers who children in a given peer group will have parents who also share do not belong to such networks find parenting more difficult a peer group. 1991). 1993. ences in the culture of parenting and to local differences in the 1988). they to the same school are likely to be reared by parents who share will probably speak English and eat with a spoon and fork in the common child-rearing methods and values (Corsaro. Ladd. B Parents' Group Children's Group r^ Parent Figure 1. According to GS theory. The Children's Peer Group sin. Richardson. Yucatec Mayan The neighborhood and community effects described by Bron- women who were themselves breast-fed are now bottle-feeding fenbrenner (1986) are attributed here to class and local differ- their infants. pelled to retain them when they are not at home. Other social influences common to the group . transmit information and social norms for the job of from the parents' group to the children's group. Matching subscripts designate individuals who belong to the same family. against the advice of their mothers (Howrigan. Thus. Ras. & Mikrut.

. The parents' pidgin varied according to GS theory. according to Bickerton ent. 1994). but the children of a given transmission to individual children passes first through the filter cohort all spoke the same version of Creole. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 469 Children's Group Figure 2.7 Peer Cultures The most interesting case is when the children in a peer group have no common culture or language. However. Pedersen. ing middle-aged and older adults. They had "adopted the common lan- may not use spoons and forks at home. capable of expressing complex ideas. of a pidgin speaks it a little differently. Consider a group of The parents' generation. a new language evolved in Hawaii: a watch a particular television show. they must Though the achievement of the Hawaiian children is remark- create one. 1983. depending on the native In such areas. time. or the media to the individual child. To communicate with each other they used a pidgin—a rudimentary language that lacks prepositions. their parents—their parents spoke pidgin or the languages of The results make it appear that culture is passed from the par. verb forms. According to group socialization theory. because each cohort contin- tudes at home or from each other. even by a linguist.. On the other hand. and standardized word order. 7 This account does not apply to the immigrant family that lives in an articles. the child ued to use the version they had spoken in their childhood and of immigrant parents. use them when she is not at home. adolescent peer groups. they may incorporate it into Creole. the child whose parents are not members of the parents' group acquires the local language and customs from the children's group. based on the pidgin. They can pick and choose from each language in common. whose parents may not speak English. brought to Hawaii to work on the sugar children who share a bicultural heritage. 1978).) are transmitted in the same way: If the majority of children Between 1900 and 1920. Lasater & Johnson. as illustrated in Figure 2. she has learned them from the parents of her peers. This was a fully developed language. These children had not learned it from classroom of children (E. their own group and maintain their home language and customs. Their child will pick up the local language efforts by their parents to maintain the ancestral tongue" and customs from her peers. the transmission is not direct: Cultural according to their national origin. & Eaton. Faucher. Consider. their play (deMarrais et al. it was spoken by the chil- an exceptional teacher can influence the attitudes of an entire dren of the immigrants. children who share a national background often form language of that speaker. Their national ori- of the children's group. Bickerton (1983) has observed this process in the able. 1994. the teacher. it is not unique. by the children themselves. (1983). In that case. such as Native Ameri- plantations. p. all child- children of people who immigrated to Hawaii in the late 1800s. Each speaker area where there are other families with the same national background. there is usually no way of was able to trace the development of this language by interview- telling whether the children learned their behaviors and atti. hood peer groups create their own culture. because the creole language evolved over lies that share the same culture and watch the same TV shows. Bickerton it is difficult to test this hypothesis. their homelands. (Matching subscripts designate individuals who belong to the same family. As long as all the children in the peer group come from fami. It was developed. and are not part of the guage of their peers as a native language in spite of considerable parents' peer group. came from many different countries and had no can and Anglo American. there were variations from cohort to cohort. however. 119). In effect. according to Corsaro (1993). gin was no longer detectable in their speech. and will (Bickerton.

when group identity passed on by groups that have a spread of ages. If the newcomers to a children's group are not particularly receptive.. coby & Jacklin. 1987. Yet pointed out that behavioral differences between girls and boys the boys turned out very much like their fathers. p. than they really are. 600). 128). the biologically based differences in be- both by day and by night. 30). according to Opie and Opie. ney. Edwards. p. Fagot & Hagan. 1970. are a side effect of in-group favoritism and out-group hostility. Until that moment. and that male and female stereotypes are sim- A boy's first week at his preparatory school is likely to be the most ilar across cultures (Williams & Best. According to Levine.. 400). Sadker & Sadker. & Kaczala. hood play an important part in gender role development. are based eration. Weinstein. Resnick. The view that the sex-segregated peer groups of middle child- tion of boys passed through it. The reason is that their fathers went to differences emerge most clearly when they are playing in sex- the same schools and participated in the same peer culture. 106). . ability. 1994. Tannen. Martin. and Higgins distinctive from relevant comparison groups" (p. no adult was to changing times. at the age of that there is a biological component to these differences eight. private language for describing intimate parts of the body. Serbin. children's games get passed down from generation to gen. The fact that gender differ- in the early 1900s: ences in behavior are observable in every human culture that has been studied. in the Robbers Cave experiment. and luding to this method of socialization when he said. 1955. 1963). The result is the emergence of con- of the children's group. It is the group members themselves changed while cohort after cohort of children pass through it. 1986. Groups are highly motivated to provide newcomers with If we feel favoritism toward our own group and hostility toward the knowledge. Adler. 1992). 1986). as soon as they graduate out groups. lett. Thus. For many generations.. Newcomers are typically receptive to tionary history than with any real differences between the these influence attempts" (p. However. 1991). Parsons. Mac- officer was formed "on the playing fields of Eton" (cited in Bart. Williams & Best. for reasons that have more to do with our evolu- role of full member. the younger is salient. involved in their decision. parents in Western societies may be less con- Between-Group Contrasts cerned about gender distinctions than are the children them- selves. who are responsible for group contrast effects (Wilder. using 1986). he has not realized that there are so many people in the world who wish to hit him and (Maccoby & Jacklin. that parental influence plays no more than a minor part. Maccoby (1990) has fitness. A meta-analysis turned up no major differences between When widening differences are noted between children's the ways parents treat their sons and daughters (Lytton & Rom- groups that differ in gender.g. or aca. Social groups are categories and. Schlegel & Barry. Gender is "the most fundamental of human categories" Glynn (1970) described his experiences as a newcomer to Eton (Banaji & Prentice. the ranges of the two groups overlap considerably. p. who forget ilar to each other. 1987.. How- Corsaro (1993) has described childhood socialization as "the ever. 315). ac- The boys who attended these schools saw very little of their cording to GS theory. 1992. that the character of the British been suggested elsewhere (Archer. group members perceive themselves to be more sim- children learn the traditions from the older ones. Nyansongo children in Africa have a trasting group stereotypes (Wilder. their first 8 years were spent mainly in the company of dichotomous groups causes these differences to widen and the nannies and governesses. The Duke of Wellington was al. Though this series of cultures is capable of adapting words all the time" (Sherif et al. like the sex differences hurt him and that they will be given ample opportunity to do so. paternal overlap to decrease. 1983. one for which he is. the blame is usually put on putative socializing fashion have not reduced their sex-typed behavior or attitudes agents such as parents or teachers (e.470 JUDITH RICH HARRIS of their cultures. Recent efforts to rear children in an androgynous demic ability. and if no adult intervenes. which evidently changed very little as generation after genera. 1986). 1986). and trying hard at games" (Glynn. 1974). the influence attempts may Gender Role Development be quite forceful. groups. race. 1982. then we are motivated to see the groups as different. & Gulko. Siegal. and for the 10 years after that. These traditions are group differences (Krueger. 361). Indeed. 1990. Thorne. Children who grow up in homes headed by . has tion of his victory at Waterloo. and motivation they will need to play the another group. . Opie and Opie (1969) found British children still play. Powlishta. 1993. strongly suggests traumatic experience of his life. 1991. on the perception of within-group similarities and between- ing games that date from Roman times. . 1992. 129) havior are differences between group means. group norms (they are speaking here of adult groups) lutionary view offers an alternative explanation for group con- are "often maintained over several 'generations' during which trast effects: They are not driven by a desire for self-esteem. the sex same upper-class accent. Boys and girls develop contrasting group contact consisted chiefly of "a lecture each holiday on fortitude. 1991. 1994. stereotypes and contrasting peer cultures. (Serbin et al. the effects of self-categorization into two fathers. . including the are minimal when children are observed individually. from group to group (LaFromboise et al. 1993. 1961. Thus. and more different from the members of other them. in explana.. social class. upper-class British boys were sent away to boarding schools at the age of eight. According to Turner (1987). 1993). it is also capable of remaining relatively un. . and the precise blend they settle on will vary Minuchin & Shapiro. p. An evo- (1993). 1993). During middle childhood. The words are passed along from older children quires that one's own group be favourably different or positively to younger ones. like all categories. totally unprepared. segregated groups. ethnicity. between-group differences words that are forbidden in the presence of adults (LeVine & are increased or created because "a positive social identity re- LeVine. 1991). but old members gradually leave the group and new members join. in height and strength. (p. when the Eagles decided production of and movement through a series of peer cultures" not to do any more "cussing" because the Rattlers "used cuss- (p.

R. 1994). rules becomes more flagrant. but age group. rather child versus adult. nibbled on snacks. at boring adult things. an adolescent forager boy. A similar contrast between haved children and who will become law-abiding adults foragers and farmers was reported by Draper and Cashdan (Moffitt. 1993a). the girls claimed Attitudes toward gender roles are part of a culture and can be (erroneously) that the boys cheated. GS havior. smoking tobacco not able to classify themselves as adults as soon as their physical along with the men. be. When no boys were pres. and to excel in. Moffitt concluded that adolescent delin- (1988). C. They adopt characteristic modes of clothing. However. have a highly sex-differ. . As he scans the camp he notices a group of women adolescents in complex societies (i. like figuring out their income tax or doing least for female behavior. status. defiance of adult introduced into the game. the girls' behavior changed dramati. they appeared shy and noncompetitive. Two groups of preadolescent girls participated also emerges at an early age: Corsaro (1993) reported that chil- in the study: Hopi Indians living on a reservation in Arizona dren's resistance to adult rules "is a daily occurrence in the and African Americans attending a middle-class private school nursery school and is produced in a style that is easily recogniz- in Chicago. Although they identify with their own cause the salient social categories will not be girl versus boy. especially in boys' groups (Fine. Sadker & Sadker. 1992) are not less sex-typed than chil. "masculine" subjects such as math tility. Adolescence ture believe that boys and girls are basically alike. exaggerated (for instance. lulled to sleep by the G. the neighboring Lese. a forager people who live in small groups mixed-age playgroups and. By late middle childhood. pletely unaware of the change in their behavior—when they dren who have two parents of opposite sexes. 1988). in localities where population density is low and there are not From the preschool period through early adolescence. 1992. differences are much more pronounced. many of back. 1979. 1987. and he utters a disapproving ceases to be a useful indicator of age and status. Although hostility toward other age groups does not and science (Alper. those who are more advanced in physical Mau. . Mau reaches over to stir his Two changes occur between early and mid-adolescence: Gen- pot of sombe as a group of young boys and girls play "shoot the der ceases to be the primary indicator of group identity. age-group issues re- theory predicts that sex-typed behavior will be minimized. hairstyles. month-old daughter draped across his lap. sex- typed behavior may appear even though the adults in that cul. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 471 single mothers (M. Consider Morelli's (1994) description both literally and figuratively. 1993. even among individuals who were well-be- entiated society (Morelli. going for joyrides in cars they do not own. were asked why the boys always won. a able to members of the peer culture. 360). piring to adult status—they are contrasting themselves with dren are more likely to form sex-segregated groups and sex adults. the girls were taller the manner depicted in Figure IB. Conversely. The African Dare. GS group affiliations are of central concern. Whiting & Edwards. But when a group of boys was children" (p. 1988) or by lesbian or and teased the other players. 686). (p. extremely common. The girls were observed as they played dodgeball. according to GS theory. while others lounge. Weisfeld & Billings. ages 11 to 13. signs of it are detectable demonstration of the effects of the presence of boys on girls' much earlier. .) or is prefaced by'calls for the attention'of the other them were quite skillful at it. delinquent acts during adolescence are lows for a greater population density. speech. a "baby" is a deadly insult. The behavior of "aa-ooh!" . Even for a child barely out of diapers. A mild form of hostility to adults laghan (1982). teenagers versus adults. If behavior will be minimized at times and in places where the they truly aspired to adult status they would not be spraying social categories male and female are not salient because the graffiti on overpasses. Weisfeld. and size fruit" using child-sized bows and arrows. Weisfeld. making faces behind the teacher's ent. even though they are now the same Within our own society. 1994). cally. being called behavior was reported by C. 1) growth is complete) results. sits in camp with his brother's 15. where parents permit it. from self- categorization into contrasting groups. quency "must be a social behavior that allows access to some where the number of potential playmates is limited. societies in which they are preparing for a fishing trip. with its consequent power and privilege" (p. whose farming lifestyle al. In Western societies. 120).e. A striking emerge in full force until adolescence. They would be doing (Turner. Among IKung who have adopted a farming and herding theory suggests a different explanation: Adolescents are not as- lifestyle and the number of potential playmates is greater. in societies where and heavier than the boys (C. children are able to divide up into sex-segregated groups. given to a player: . p. C. Opie and Opie (1969) described the dares that might be American girls chatted among themselves. Stevenson & Black. boys and desirable resource" and suggested "that the resource is mature girls play together and there are few sex differences in their be. maturation tend to have higher status (Savin-Williams. In their explanation of the children's game Truth or folded.. not-so-distant music of a finger piano. In contrast. "either actually or symbolically" or shoplifting nail polish from drug stores. their laundry. and behavior so that. Girls and young women who go to all. In same-age groups. main in the background. E. children look up to the age group just ahead of them. Older children are dominant in of life among the Efe. 1988). The children come dan- gerously close to Mau's cooking fire. They observed that in !Kung nomadic foraging groups. in mixed- in the Ituri forest of Zaire: age sibling groups (Edwards. The Hopi girls stood with their legs crossed and their arms 1988). gender- enough children for girls and boys to form separate groups.. Weisfeld et al. GS theory predicts that sex-typed size as adults. This prediction seems to hold true. . the girls played the game in a competitive manner. Both groups of girls were com- gay couples (Patterson. chil. Such activity is often highly game played by children of both sexes. and Cal. female high schools and colleges are more likely to retain an In-group favoritism is often accompanied by out-group hos- interest in. no one will have any trouble telling them apart. It should be noted that passed down from the parents' group to the children's group in among these preadolescents. opposite sex is not present. 1982).

1992.. environment has little or no effect on adult characteristics such dren's peer groups operate by a "majority rules" rule: If one or asextraversion. Lambert. Maccoby and Jacklin (1987) quoted an 11-year. . & Klackenberg- Larsson. Kagan & Snidman. 1992. dare each other to take risks or to defy the rules of the adult they can be modified by the environment. 1987. 1985. & ior is not acceptable in the boys' peer group of middle child- Aumiller. most high schools in urbanized societ- (p. the researchers (Kerr et al. However. feather flock together" phenomenon. Fox. is the question adolescents are asking when they Robinson et al. ies are large enough to enable adolescents to sort themselves out Temperament and group behavioral norms. they risk rejection by the ory offers a different interpretation: that timid. or to punch a passer-by on the back. scribed children who vary along a r^mension they call inhibi. but. . anxious behav- group unless they modify those behaviors (Bierman. or (Davidson. Gib. behavior in a girl is not considered objectionable by her female old girl who explained to them what would happen if she should peers. overt pressure said—"You would be teased for months" (p. This pronunciation of this and other words that marked my dialect" changes in adolescence. Stattin. I can still remember practicing hard to change the graphic categories such as sex. Ka- gan. Arcus. tempt to account for the ways in which individuals differ from To explain their results. plained environmental variance—of environmental influences dence from research on temperament suggests that the answer that siblings do not necessarily share (Daniels & Plomin. 235). inhibited behavior is acceptable for girls differences. and neuroticism (Bouchard. if parents were capable of modifying their dow (1988). 1991) have de. Although it is also true . Dunn & McGuire. A psycho. 1993. they attributed the gender-specific changes to that work chiefly within. Bell. Reznick. rather than between. 1986) described a childhood experience at a pressure is less a push to conform than a desire to participate in Boy Scout Jamboree. Snidman. Reich. or to engage in some other These temperamental differences are detectable early in devel- provocation of the adult world. two individuals come to the group with behaviors that do not Loehlin. the uniformity of behavior Kagan and his colleagues (Kagan. 1994) tracked inhibited and uninhibited toddlers from age 18 months through 16 years. 1992) calls Kagan's hypothesis into question. have long-term effects on personality? Evi. highly uninhibited children are boisterous and bold. that similar can be harsh. but not females—became less shy and fearful. GS the- conform to the norms of the majority. young humans strive to dress. up with laughter at the appearance of the [j ] in the middle of The peer groups of middle childhood are based on demo- the word. A longitudinal study world. They would "Peer pressure. & Johnson.. Because the members of groups will be subjected to pressure to conform to these norms these groups are so similar in behavior and attitudes. 65). but from 6 to 16.. 1993b. 1994).. the tions of the peer" (p. Highly inhibited children are nervous and fearful of any. became more moderate in their behavior. 1992. such as males and fe." and so on (Brown & Lohr. 1988. However. & Jones." It would be as bad as "peeing in your pants. 1992). is yes. and inhibited males— males—more similar to each other. and social class. hood. of Swedish children (Kerr. boy in school: "People would not be my friends. ited boys. and attitudes seen among adolescents who belong to the same bons. cent peer group has been proposed as a possible source of unex- ticed in childhood. 1993) has hypothesized that parental Cooperative interactions between peers begin in toddlerhood. for there is a curious feeling in this opment. 306). Can such group-enforced conformity. 1990). the adoles- (Adler et al. Kagan (1984. These adolescents were similar to begin with—the "birds of a tion.Coie. children's temperaments to conform to their own ideals. 1989). "Peer linguist (Reich. 1993. That. when they are outside environmental influence—the influence of the home environ- the home. where he was mocked by boys from other experiences that are seen as relevant. two things hap- Socialization tends to make individuals within a society—or pened: Uninhibited children of both sexes calmed down and within certain groups in the society. During the into groups of like-minded individuals—the "jocks. 1986). peer group cannot be attributed entirely to group influences. influence is a major source of the longitudinal changes in inhib- Among the earliest cooperative acts noted by Eckerman and Di. There was not much change Within-Group Processes from 18 months to 6 years. and behave like ment on personality characteristics. like other heritable characteristics. & Snidman. and show signifi- one of them?" (p. I believe. Goldsmith." she blamed on "peer pressure.." the course of middle childhood. 1992). The finding that the home their same-sex peers (Adler et al. Eckert. Imitation of peer models continues effects should show up in behavioral genetic analyses as shared all through childhood and adolescence.472 JUDITH RICH HARRIS He is liable to be instructed to knock at a front door and run away. speak. GS theory deals both with similarities and with pointed out that shy. 245). impulsivity. groups. any children whose behavior is out "brains. of step with the behavioral norms of their sex-segregated peer Brown et al. 264). group sanctions his male peers until he learns to master his distress. 138). According to Lightfoot (1992). 1992). both are attributed to the effects of group processes but not for boys. 1994. Chil. cant heritability (Braungart et al. 1994) each other." Adolescent problem behavior is often scorn me. the most frequent were "acts that imitated the ac. and that children who are overly boisterous and uninhib- violate one of her group's taboos by voluntarily sitting next to a ited tend to be unpopular regardless of their sex. "culturally shared notions of gender-appropriate behavior" (p. Smoot. or potentially relevant.. to parts of the country for his Chicago accent: "They would double group identity" (p. remaining neutral on the question of which social forces Assimilation were responsible for enforcing these notions. is not usually necessary." the "burnouts. thing new. prac." but by adolescence. Behavioral geneticists at. age. have been linked to neurophysiological factors game of having to respond to the challenge "Are you one of us. that a boy who acts that way will be teased or bullied by For those who cannot or will not conform.

Bakshi. which is the case when two or more they are—quick or slow. and thereafter to treat the child in terms of such as self-confidence and friendliness. 1975. 1990. Woulbroun. himself to the other fourth-grade boys he knows. and have children. When only one group is present. if a chies and social comparison. 1954) such as "I'm bigger than you!" are heard clines in salience (Turner. and dates the formation of the group (Rowe. Rubin & Coplan. p. perhaps. Weisfeld & Brady. more success. As adolescents become adults. Rubin & Coplan. Within every group of children or ado. Dodge. volve both dominance (social power) and popularity. 207). 1988). cannot be in- time. There are three possible causal path- cur in childhood as well as adolescence and involve within. 1957. Milich. skill. a child who is either at the high adults: "learning disabled. yet. The compari- lescents there are differences in social status. They may eventually grow to above average height. ble for the correlation between rejection and later psychopathol- ogy: (a) Repeated experiences of rejection during childhood may cause later psychopathology. p. Kennedy.' causes and the effects of social success. for a variety of psychopathological problems (Olweus. 1992). pretty or plain. by defini. Harris & Liebert. other children expect certain behaviors of the labeled child. with the result hierarchies are correlated but are not identical (Pettit. Corbitt. 1983. J. have a vicious circle this trait. ical. 1990. They become self-fulfilling prophecies— (Coie. most late-maturing adolescent belong to a number of groups. many. nor should we expect it to. those who are victimized ual. & Gulley. Group influences on personality oc. are present at the same comparing themselves to others. but it is not until the elementary school societies with an individualistic orientation (Miller. he will compare Status hierarchies. manner. 1988. The consequence—at least in in the nursery school. However. many of them continue to be rejected and victimized year after 1994). Often. and more anxious in adulthood than their early-maturing peers (Clausen. 1987). one or the other of these processes is likely to predomi. 1983). the peer group declines in im- Although these effects are usually associated with early or late portance. Weisfeld & Billings. Differences in status in. the child's peer group. As adults. terpreted as supportive evidence. 1991)—they are both the is often expressed in his nickname: 'Skinny. 1987). they are at greater risk account for much of the unexplained environmental variance. 1987)—is years that children begin in earnest to compare themselves to that its members become more likely to categorize themselves others (Newman & Ruble. These alternatives cannot at present be distin- their peers in some ways and. 1987. and the way they behave tends to evoke the behavior cally tend to be smaller than their peers and to rank low on the they were expecting (M. and failure to more failure. stable. leader or follower—by social categories. 1987). Of the factors is quick to seize on any idiosyncrasy of appearance. most of the similarity pre. Some of these groups—work boys had been slow to mature in childhood as well. & Coie. question are the members of the social group in which they cat- changeable members of a group. 1993. 1992). 1957). 1992). Statements of social compari- time. 1984). such or the low end of the social hierarchy is likely to remain there labels tend to stick. R. If it is known only by a single individ- tion. Parker adaptive mechanisms. and (c) certain Assimilation and differentiation are not.' 'Professor. such as a teacher. the two Social comparisons are also made by others." Once applied. The stereotype by which the gang identifies the child quality (J. low on the popularity hierarchy. according to GS the. child categorizes himself as a fourth-grade boy. & Coie. Jones. 1). 1992). that the members of groups tend to become typecast: "The gang Dodge. adolescent peer group influence cannot by itself year (Rubin & Coplan.' 'Fatso. son (Festinger. ways.' 'Limpy'" (Stone & Church. studies have shown that late-maturing boys tend to When Does Group Influence End? be less successful. 1993). 1992). E. Under such circumstances. such as girls and boys. High or low status in the peer group may leave permanent their expectations are conveyed by the way they behave toward marks on the personality. (b) the lack of normal peer Differentiation interactions may cause later psychopathology. GS theory predicts no long-term effect. that child.8 Billings. though consistent with GS theory. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 473 that the members of these groups become more similar over by their peers are low on the dominance hierarchy (Schwartz. that may be responsi- group differentiation as well as assimilation. nate. Because success leads to 'Dopey. known by. the connection between rejection and psy- years. G. children may be rejected by their peers because they are already ory. that make children rise or fall in the social hierarchy. Thus. 1979. Children can become more similar to & Asher. Children find out what kind of people social category is salient. Hoover. . and cognitive (Harter. Therefore. less poised. that social category de. or Girls or boys who are rejected by their peers are. 1988). at any given point in chopathology. jectively for social comparison" (Turner. they are driven by separate showing subtle signs of psychopathology (Hartup. and transitive as the term hierarchy an idea of his own capabilities in several different arenas—phys- would suggest (Perry & Bussey. E. these are the same children. egorize themselves—the group that is "psychologically signifi- differences among individuals tend to increase as a result of two cant for the members [ and ] to which they relate themselves sub- phenomena that work on a within-group level: status hierar. mutually exclusive processes. personality of the labeled child only if the label is originated by. differences in social Stigmatizing labels might also be applied by teachers or other skills tend to widen over time. they now maturation during adolescence. rather than as inter. Parker & Asher. & dominance hierarchy (Savin-Williams. Assimilation to the group is most likely to occur when a Social comparison. such boys tend to be relatively low in social status all through childhood 8 GS theory predicts that labeling will have a permanent effect on the (G. over the same period of months or guished. social. though they are sons are multidimensional and result in the child's developing not always as clear. Stipek. Thus." "hyperactive. less similar in other ways. Harris. time because of mutual influence. The others in and each other as distinct individuals. operating alone or in combination. Boys who are slow to mature physi. 1990. They marry. or whatever.' 'Four-eyes.

In precolonial China. "NoNoNo. Thirty-month-old Julia finds herself alone in the kitchen while her mixed-sex group. if a man committed a seri- Cross-Cultural Considerations ous crime. even a creature as simple as a honeybee has more than one with little modification. The Kaluli of Papua. W. Polynesian children cannot learn the rules of tion as individuals. The kind of parental me. she finds her daughter cheerfully (Edwards. When they are at home together. 135) Is the Family a Group? Fraiberg attributed this lapse to the fact that Julia had not In urbanized societies. Sigman. The adult is expected to initiate and control in. A common force in developmental psychology. 1959. the models are In the days when psychoanalytic theory was an influential older children. school-age children spend most of yet acquired a superego. mechanism for getting to a flower (Gould. Japanese. Mustn't dood it.and sex-segregated groups is experienced by Julia to make scrambled eggs. 1989). siblings are a part—often a major eggs: part—of the young child's social group.and sex-segregated groups identified with her mother. They are not a group because the social category more. his own patch of social interaction by observing their parents' behavior. appears to be yes. Children in our with this group? society spend their early years discovering that they cannot do In some societies—particularly Asian societies—the answer most of the things they see their parents doing—making messes. and children were executed Julia's dilemma is not unique to our society. p. especially siblings (Zukow.474 JUDITH RICH HARRIS groups. pattern in such societies is that toddlers are given over to the have by identifying with his father or her mother. Only in certain situations—for example. 1987. 1994. 1994). 1988). Chen. 1986). Personality does not change much (McDonald. and engaging in many other phasize the importance of the family group or social group and activities that look like fun to those who are not allowed to do deemphasize the importance of the individual. By preadolescence. each with her own agenda. 1992). 1992. New Guinea do not help adults. havior and acceptable child behavior is greater than in our own. plopping eggs on the linoleum and scolding herself sharply for each plop. Miller. Miller. the responsibility (Heckathorn. behaving exactly like her mother. 1992). Many kinds of learning do not require the presence of a model. for the remainder of the life span. his siblings. Fraiberg (1959) younger one along to the children's play group. presumably because she had not yet their time outside the home in age. Western culture puts the emphasis on the indi- In the Marquesas Islands of Polynesia. Adults can most all sustained social interactions and most verbal inter- learn a new language but they cannot learn to speak it without changes of toddlers in this culture involve other children" an accent (Reich. Identification. when they are with other children. led to the formation of a superego. & Lee. Outside-the-home so- cialization begins. 1994. the consequences of being different are not so serious for means universal. It is not salient because no other social . A bowl of eggs is on the table. they believe it is the responsibil- seem to have far less impact on adults than on children. parents do not act either as our family is not salient. the other for interacting with parents and traveling together in an unfamiliar area—are the members of other adults. such as language learning. The language and person. in this mixed-age. What Julia must learn is that Does the family function like a group? Does the child identify she is not allowed to behave like her mother. Stevenson. Espinosa. p. the idea being that the whole family shared in societies in which the distinction between acceptable adult be. I believe that they func- (Martini. 1992). As an illustration she offered the story of Julia and the ing & Edwards. There the tod- used this theory to account for the fact that most children learn dler might be allowed to participate as a sort of living doll or be family rules and become less likely to violate them as they get left to watch or to whine on the sidelines (Martini. according to GS theory. wants to say (Snow. 1993). children in most present- mother is on the telephone. . and for those Who Socializes the Child? that do. In most traditional societies. Perhaps for these reasons. ality acquired in childhood and adolescent peer groups persist. instruction we take for granted in the United States is by no gently. every society provides some kind of a model. different sets of rules for social behavior: one for interacting 1987). H. group influences sentence into proper grammar.. Fortunately. Guisinger & Blatt. children must learn two vidual rather than the group (Guisinger & Blatt. for example—no longer consist solely of people "like playmates or as teachers to their children. and autonomy are not considered virtues in a child (Cole. 1992). Mustn't dood it!" (Fraiberg. ity of the child to make the listener understand what she or he though the ability to acquire new behavioral systems is not lost. parents. Chinese. care of an older sister or brother when they are 2 or 2'/2. par- adults' accommodations to social contexts seem to be shallow ents and toddlers have few verbal interactions of any sort: "Al- and short-lived. children can learn things in a variety of ways. a child learned how to be. 1991). An urge day societies are able to form age. there are many along with him. North American or European families likely to function as a teractions.When Julia's mother returns to the kitchen. 1994. Thus. independence them. 411). compared with those of children. But notice what Julia was doing: that do not ordinarily include a sibling. good older sibling—who may be no more than 4 or 5—carries the behavior was then enforced by the superego. during adulthood (McCrae. the child is expected to be restrained and compliant group. Most of their interac- By making "scrambled eggs" and yelling "NoNoNo!" she was tions with their siblings and parents occur within the home. or perhaps because of matu. in most traditional societies. Al. & Neumann. Further. 1994. NoNoNo. children learn language by rephrasing a toddler's poorly formed rational changes programmed into our genes. In contrast. and the around age 4 or 5. Whit- older. ." Group norms of behavior are no longer enforced so strin. turf to defend. In the Embu District of Kenya. and Indian cultures em- telling other people how to behave.

differentiation is likely increases.. other researchers In a number of studies. development of the visual system (Mitchell. the best son. Depending on the precise wording of the question. thus. If one sib. "Whom do you love more. . the wild boy of Aveyron (Lane. ask them to do something dangerous or illegal. in and their relationships with their peers (Abramovitch et al. the shared outside-the. 1990) have found reared-apart and reared-to- lescents questions of the form. Rhesus monkeys isted. For example. which happens as a replies to questions of the type "What would you do if. Tesser's (1988) self-evaluation maintenance When researchers observe. adults. Given the context-sensitivity of social behavior. the other sibling may certain foods. First. and not very successfully. which is consistent with the parents or your friends?" Finally. adult. ?" matter of course in most societies and which North American have low validity. in effect. The six children had home. make them more alike—is exactly the opposite of the assump. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 475 categories are present. in the privacy of the contemporary Western home. Within-family social comparisons should also widen person. they alike than twins reared apart.g. despite much favorable propaganda or forceful avoid playing the piano for fear of being bested in the compari. it would make twins reared together less similar in per.g. either actually or symbolically (Turner. researchers have asked children and ado. Stocker & Dunn. fact. If this effect occurs. tween firstborns and secondborns. When the children ar- home environment should make twins reared together more rived in England and came to the attention of Anna Freud. the locked-up girl of California (Curtiss. older siblings dominant over younger ones. just as they were to their siblings and found a tendency toward polar. reaching a peak in early adolescence. he assumed that if such an effect ex. within-group jockeying for status. "What would you do if your friends gether identical twins to be equally similar. the results generally show that par- ents' influence is high during the early school years and then grad- Within-Family Effects ually declines. peer in- theory predicts that siblings should each develop specialties of fluence is found to be potent. Loehlin (1992) investigated case studies involving deprivation of one kind or another sug- the possibility that a contrast effect might occur between twins gest that the absence of peers may have more serious long-term who are reared together. is sufficient to do the job. in many cases. .. they go to the same school and often belong to the same been cared for in the concentration camp by an everchanging peer group. without parents. Third. the child is being asked. effect. do not 9 Parental Influence Versus Peer Influence Although Loehlin found that identical twins reared together were more similar in personality than those reared apart. Perry & Bussey.. According to Hartup Notice that this prediction—that inside-the-family effects will (1983). 157-158). if they are not more alike. it must be small in magnitude. your 1986. 1988). babies ality differences between siblings—a within-family contrast and young children are bitterly unhappy (Bowlby. Bowerman & Kinch. Nor is there need to postulate a special motivator. However. According to GS theory. .. Berndt. 1951) suggests twins reared together also share an environment outside the that the same may be true for humans. 1990).. the questions are asked by a researcher who is an tus hierarchies and social comparisons may increase the differ. Dominance hierarchies would tend to make plies might be different if the questioner were a child. to prevent tween tests of moral judgment and tests of moral behavior (see (Whiting & Edwards. where parental influence would be expected to have priority. the re- ences among them. (e. an early attachment to a caregiver appears to be a require- Schachter (1982) asked college students to judge how similar ment for normal social development (Rutter. As Birch (1987) discovered. They may know that their friends would not Social comparisons between siblings may have more interest. sta. reared without peers are more abnormal as adults than those sonality than twins reared apart. 1984). 1979. 1994). even at ages and in circumstances their own—areas that they consider important to their self. early exposure to light and pattern is a requirement for normal ization of personality attributes that was significant only be. as shown by the lack of correspondence be- parents try very hard. it is well known that preschoolers are loath to eat ling is an excellent pianist. and tion made by behavioral geneticists. Absence of Parents Versus Absence of Peers man and nonhuman primate groups. wanted you to do something that your parents told you not to do?" 1987). children generally belong to finding that birth order has no reliable effects on personality peer groups that share their attitudes and. parents' attitudes. urging from their parents. none of whom survived. Genie. they cared only about each other. these children grew up to become normal adults and at make twins more different and outside-the-family effects will last report were leading "effective lives" (pp. Note that this "niche-picking" process does not require way to induce children of this age to eat a disliked food is to put any parental intervention or labeling. Cases like Victor. If siblings see themselves as Such experiments are misleading or irrelevant for several rea- separate individuals rather than as part of the family group. their (Emst&Angst. there is little or no re. sons. in a Nazi concentration camp (Freud & Dann. The together were somewhat more similar than those reared apart9 case of the Jewish children who spent their first 3 years together and concluded that no contrast effect had occurred. However. 1976). 1979). rather than on behavior. rather than ask questions. 1983. He found that twins reared reared without a mother (Harlow & Harlow. for example. individuals in question. series of adults. definition and in which they are willing to compete. Second. a were found to be completely indifferent—if not hostile—to all within-family contrast effect may be reducing their similarity. and that peers' influence is low at first and gradually When group identity is not salient.Reissetal. found in most hu. to predominate over assimilation. (e. No one can question the fact that. 1969). Bouchard et al. 1977). However. it involves only the two them at a table with a group of children who like it. ing consequences. consequences than the absence of parents. the questions tend to focus on semblance between children's relationships with their siblings emotionally charged relationships. 1962/1975). 1980). 1969).

1987." is not worrying about the reaction of her best friend— Second is the cause-or-effect problem. 564). Behavioral geneti. tioned previously. shared environment accounts for little or no variance in adult Thus.. 1987). a child who does Behavioral genetic data indicate that any transient effect of well in one relationship is likely to do well in others (Jacobson the home environment on personality fades by adulthood— &Wille. In the peer group Laursen. 1969).. There may be. a "working model" The view that early relationships with parents are of central of the mother-child relationship in the child's mind. environment. 1991. who participates in all of these children were completely rehabilitated after a few years in relationships. There is no way of telling whether the categories. Evolutionary considerations discussed earlier led to the view dertakings. There is a case in which two chil. As men. 1986. nervousness.. Waters. Just as some they learn how to behave in public. responsive does not avoid all of the other children on the playground way are likely to become securely attached to their mothers. there is no way of factoring out the effects of heredity from The important point about human groups is that they are social those of environment. Evidence against this view . even at home (Baron. Efforts to link parent-child relationships with reluctant to speak the home language. it is surprising to discover that the correlations among characteristics. some infants are better than others at evoking sensitive. 1990). not par- pret. A (in friendliness. cultural prestige. at me. 1981) or to other caregivers (Goossens & van Ijzen. some 1992). Bowlby. this distinction may appear an essential control: If all the pairs of research participants to be splitting hairs. as do mothers and their biological chil. children learn how to behave with each play a role in the success of the relationship (Hartup & Person A. According to GS theory. etc. and cognitions acquired in a dyadic relationship are specific to that relationship (Hinde Dyadic Relationships Versus Group Processes & Stevenson-Hinde. dren who have low status in the group are able to form success- vine & Taylor. If two peo- Daniels. many chil- judged securely attached (Ainsworth et al. 1989. is responsible for environ- cists have pointed out clearly and repeatedly (e. 1991. Scarr. involves two people who In dyadic relationships. the reason the home a child's various relationships are actually quite low.. Parker & Asher. ships with their peers (Abramovitch et al. 1972. Belsky. & Hamilton. Plomin & mental modifications of personality characteristics. 1986. 1992). Some researchers have claimed that the reason the immigrant 1994). (Asendorpf & van Aken. 1994). A mother-child rela. Matheson. 1978. 1993) that most socialization studies lack ple are a dyad and three are a group. The Transient Effects of the Home Environment Because infants who are particularly appealing to their mothers are also likely to be appealing to other people. & Schafer. The language they speak with their peers will become studies (Pastor. adults are better than others at caring for infants. 1985). Note. emotions. especially those that are social in nature. they take on its norms of behavior (Turner. I can't wear that. Among the modern adherents to this view very early in life that learning what to expect from Mother is of are the attachment theorists (Ainsworth. research. Although there are chil- Children who greet their mothers with unalloyed joy are ad. 1994). though. Security of that dyadic relationships and group affiliation are driven by sep- attachment is assessed by observing a child's behavior. Dunn. There are two major problems that make most socialization 1993a.) are due to he. generally arate adaptive mechanisms. Blehar. with Person B. dren. importance in personality development is a legacy from psycho. p. including the attachment literature. se. Stocker & mal peer relationships as well. These findings are surprising because it is the dren—twins—were isolated but were locked up together. Children who learn one language at Weston. home and a different one outside the home become increasingly doorn. Waters. with the same genes. the nature of children's sibling relationships and their relation- prived not only of normal parent-child relationships but of nor. & Sroufe. which they lived with a foster family and attended school The most reasonable explanation of why these correlations (Koluchova. that these children were de. & Oiler. but if so. cure attachments increase the chances of success in later un. child drops the home language is that it lacks economic and tuitive" (Youngblade. Sometimes correlations are found that are "counterin. MacKinnon-Lewis et al. the kids will laugh redity. like all dyadic relationships. When children categorize themselves as members of observed resemblances between the mothers and their children a group. 1979) find their "native language" when they are adults (Bickerton. ticipation in dyadic relationships. However. A child who Wall. she is worried about the consequences of violating group norms. & limited usefulness for dealing with Father or Sister. 1993. has learned through hard experience to avoid the school bully infants whose mothers care for them in a sensitive. 1990). 1978. child who says. these same child. 1986). According to attachment theory.476 JUDITH RICH HARRIS have happy endings. 1993b).g. First is the nature-or-nurture problem. 1983). A child discovers analytic psychology. ful friendships (Bukowski & Hoza. as Bowlby (1969) proposed. or both. Fernandez. 1986). Park. 1984. cesses and dyadic relationships is not just a matter of number. Ro. tionship. there is also little or no correlation between Pearson. dren who get along poorly in every social context. child-peer relationships have had inconsistent results. a correlation. Consistent with this view is the at age 12 or 13 months. responsive parenting. difficult to inter. 1976). competence. dependent of their dyadic relationships. it is trotted out only when Mother is around. the difference between group pro- share 50% of their genes. when the mother leaves the child in an finding that children's group relations are to a large extent in- unfamiliar laboratory room and then returns a short time later. Hinde & Stevenson-Hinde. it is not valued by the community (Umbel. Sroufe. "Oh Mom. Wippman. & Belsky. Main & one they acquired at home. others do not (Howes. A child environment has no lasting effects is that children are predis- who is securely attached to Mother is not necessarily securely posed to favor the outside-the-home behavioral system over the attached to Father (Fox. 1981. According to GS theory. are so low is that behaviors. identification with a group. Kimmerly. and with Person C.

1991). This misguided than the reverse. 259). Newport.'Sign language was brought into the peer effects is now admitted. The child's personality is still assumed to be effort failed. Members of the op. Body weight is not 3B). children do not choose what they learned in infancy Genetic Effects and early childhood. Cathy is still wrong: lines). increased these similarities. Wilson & Daly. as for vision and attachment. They can dashed lines). norms. sex-typed netic reasons—the 40% or 50% of the variance that is attribut. tence of reactive effects in parent-child interactions is accepted. . the sex drive tends to be spring is perhaps the least questioned notion in psychology. Why are most psychologists (and nonpsychologists) so con- posite sex who are familiar from infancy and early childhood vinced that it is true? This section reviews some of the con- are generally not regarded as sexually stimulating (Tooby & founding factors that can be mistaken for evidence of effects of Cosmides. Rowe's views were de- biologically predisposed to discard what they learned in their picted earlier. First. As Erikson (1963) noted about there is no longer a link between the child's behavior inside the the school-age child. however. who at present is alone among behavioral that had greater economic and cultural prestige. 1990). Mutual influence is acknowledged in peer-peer interactions. adoptive parents in fatness or thinness (Stunkard et al. If environmental influences added to and system and become a permanent part of the adult personality. 1994).. 1994) shows tubby Cathy sitting between her tubby mother and her tubby father. The arrows in these schematic diagrams represent causal affected by rearing environment. a behavioral genetic model (Figure 3A. 1990. genetic and environmental fluence the child's peer relationships. and all the children mentioned in behavioral genetic writings. Newport. dampened by stimuli that are too familiar. Behaviors approved by the peer group (e. Note that are likely to spend their future. experience early in life ap- as is the possibility that children's peer relationships might pears to be necessary for optimal development. systems—and that parental behavior no longer affects the duce. she discovers that it was her father—not. but not vice versa. for language. first few years of life. is presumably passed used it surreptitiously to converse among themselves (Meier. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 477 conies from deaf children born to hearing parents during the affect their behavior at home. When these children went to schools where. The exis. Thus. her mother—who had taught her to reach for cookies -opment: a traditional socialization model (Figure 3A. the community tried hard to suppress it. it does not include that of spite earnest efforts by their teachers to give them a language Rowe (1990. 1990. their parental home is not where they Figure 3B shows the model generated by GS theory. though the possibility of language in the dormitories. "There is no workable future within the home and outside the home—these are two separate behavioral womb of his family" (p. A recent Cathy cartoon (Guisewite. "traditional" behavioral genetic view. In order to survive and repro. for influenced primarily by parent-child relationships and by the the first time. it is largely inherited (Grilo & links. as she previously Figure 3 shows three contrasting models of personality devel- thought. 10 Deaf children who learn sign language in middle childhood never The behavioral genetic model adds a genetic link between become as proficient in its use as children who are exposed to it from parents' personalities and children's personalities. the child's personality is affected by outside their home. In such studies. Parent-child relationships are assumed to in- biological children. which is not ordinarily schools by the deaf children of deaf parents. they met other deaf children. they picked up sign parents' behavior toward the child. all of the links are environmental except for the two Pogue-Geile. the effect of parent-child era when sign language was not valued by the community—in relationships on peer relationships is presumed to be stronger fact. Instead. which is influenced by peer group Second. the idea that obesity is caused by eating habits learned dur- longer as prevalent as it once was) that heredity is important ing childhood is deeply ingrained. behavior. It became their "native language" de. Adopted children do not resemble their marked Heredity. infancy onward (Bebko & McKinnon. 1992). solid or ice cream whenever she was unhappy. This would decrease the number and variety of eco- logical niches the members of the family could fit into and re. Sources of the Belief in Parental Influence duce the likelihood that at least one child would survive. 1990). Culture.g. Cultural transmission is by way of the parents. solid lines plus Her father is as innocent (or as guilty) as her mother. mainly in determining the outward physical characteristics of Socialization researchers have typically looked for evidence the child and that parental behavior is a cause and child behav- of parental influence in families consisting of parents and their ior is an effect. on by the parents. behaves outside the home. During the course of the strip. 1986). This figure represents what might be called a 1991. children are already similar to their parents for ge. language) are part of the outside-the-home behavioral able to heritability. their parents and siblings that the family might lack sufficient there is no path from culture to personality via the parents. in Figure 1 A. mechanism may operate in regard to socialization: When there is a choice. Three Views of Personality Development looking at the family photo album. and the model generated by GS theory (Figure be blamed only for giving Cathy their DNA. They must form alliances that go beyond the behavior of peers toward the child and by the way the child the nuclear family. variability. There is a biological mechanism that reduces the chances of That parents have important and lasting effects on their off- incest: In humans and other animals. I suggest that a similar the home environment.10 geneticists in concluding that the home environment may not There are good evolutionary reasons why children might be play an important role in development. children must be able to function successfully in the world child's personality. The traditional socialization model is based on the view (no Yet.. children would be so much like Culture is transmitted by way of its effects on peer group norms.

dence of pervasive parental influence but of the context-speci- ings of behavioral genetics are not restricted to personality and ficity of social behavior. the heritability of traits such as aggressive. & Fulker. DeFries. it is evident that the parent is influencing the child's behav- rience in their lives is partly determined by genetic factors: In. except for the two labeled Heredity. ness (Ghodsian-Carpey & Baker. or getting into marital difficulties. Corley. Tesser (1993) reported that attitudes such as belief in the death pen. Plomin and his col- leagues (Plomin. the possibility of genetic influences must be consid. effects are inevitably confounded (Plomin & Daniels. When a child who is cooperative and self-confident in other alty or a liking for jazz are heritable. 1994) and impulsivity (Loehlin. A: The models generated by a traditional socialization approach (solid lines) and by a behavioral genetic approach (solid lines plus dashed lines). 1991). Note that the find. 1992) might families and families with twins. Context Effects netic influence on how much television a child watches. Hoffman (1991) noted that estimates of shared environmen- Whenever behaviors are "handed down" from one generation tal influence vary according to the measurements that are used: to another. ior. measurements are based on observations of behavior (usually . Three views of personality development.478 JUDITH RICH HARRIS Figure 3. gin have a significant genetic component. 1987. & Verhulst. ent. A common. For example. Behavioral genetic studies. 1990) found a ge. The home environment is found to be more important if the ered. B: The model generated by group socialization theory. All of the arrows in this figure. 1993). conclusion drawn from such dividuals are more likely to experience such events if they have observations is that the parental influence must be pervasive close biological relatives who are always having accidents. (DiLalla & Gottesman. McGuffin and Katz (1993) contexts becomes belligerent or anxious in the presence of a par- found that the number of stress-producing events people expe. which include adoptive ma. but unwarranted. Booms- Scarr. IQ tests. 1987. The change in behavior does not provide evi- their jobs. van den Oord. losing and long-lasting. represent environmental effects. have demonstrated that many be partly responsible for the vertical transmission of child abuse characteristics thought to be completely environmental in ori.

it is impossible to tell whether and their children should be nonsignificant. School-age children may not talk term effects on personality and thereby evades this particular about their future career plans with their friends. the importance of the home environment on child development. The child's current and previous behavior and that the child's be. than their friends) or to issues that do not come up while chil- sible.. 1985) have tudes of their parents (if they belong to the same social network) criticized socialization researchers for examining only one child will also be similar. 1993). up in testing the theory's predictions. Precisely this result the parents' treatment of the child is a reaction to the way that was reported in a Mexican American community by Day and particular child behaves or is a behavioral characteristic of the her colleagues (Day etal. but some aspect of the testing situation— (Hartup & Laursen. in part. dren are with their peers. work. Miscellaneous Effects dren in a family. Dietmeyer. If we find that the parents treat the two children differently and that the children behave differently. children focus more and more on the world out- in childhood than do nondepressed people. The question is whether these correlations tell us after high school. 294. Untangling the causes from the effects may be impos. but by way other a presumed effect. Parents '-Group-to-Children 's-Group Effects Styles of Parenting When an Asian American adolescent spends 4 hours a night Baumrind (1971) defined three styles of parenting: authori- doing homework. for ex- Age Effects ample. looking at a single family. searchers in both areas interpret their findings as evidence for sone&Berg. retrospective studies in which adults' personality shortly. As Council (1993) has even at a number of families. that the home environment has had an effect on the way chil- sponse to it? dren act outside the home. 1993). It is unquestionably true that children's of the peer group: behavior in the home will be affected by their experiences in Dr. which can lead to side their home as they get older. there is a serious problem with many personality sion of parental potency." he recalled. & and on the effects of divorce. on styles of parenting outside the home (Day.. Deaux & Major. Toddlers and preschoolers are the unwarranted conclusion that the unhappy childhood expe- likely to show some effects of home environment even when riences caused the depression. Again. p. 1994). vanish by adulthood. less important if they are doctor. Many of his friends wanted ory they do not. or a Jewish adolescent decides to become a tarian (bossy parents who do not consider their children's . 1992. and since. Daniels & Plomin. 1991." he decided to become a doctor too. Howsepian. the atti- Behavioral geneticists (e. would only reinforce the impres- pointed out. With this procedure. 1992. p. however. Scarr & McCartney. the effects of the home environment depressed people report having had more unhappy experiences are transient. it is predicted that children with normal exposure to an outside-the-home environment will have at least two sepa- Reinterpreting Previous Research rate behavioral systems—one for use at home. Unfortunately. 31). Depression. The result is that According to GS theory. one or more for Two well-established areas of research. his point is haviors and attitudes approved by the majority of the parents. they are outside the home. he said. problems are traced to experiences in their childhood home are frequently confounded by memory biases. the nature of the questions. James. By the end of middle childhood. within a particular peer group of adolescents. high school cause-or-effect problem. It is the unusual case—the adolescent studies: The results may be confounded by context effects. a reaction to the parent's current and previous behavior (most children probably do love their parents better behavior. a similar problem will crop students may eschew discussions of religion and politics. a reaction to the of peers—may evoke their at-home behavioral system. attitudes toward educational aspirations are likely to be similar. questions may pertain to emotional relationships rather than havior is. However. 1983). According to GS the. parents and the cause of the child's behavior. predisposes individuals to retrieve unhappy events from their memories (Mathews & MacLeod.g. Snyder's parents suggested that he go to a music conservatory that home. did the Several other minor effects may contribute to the impression differential treatment cause the different behavior or is it a re. Borkowski. whose parents have atypical ideas—that demonstrates the inac- cause a positive correlation may be "an artifact of assessing both curacy of the impression. San. will be briefly reexamined. "I didn't think being a musician was such a good anything about behavior in other contexts. (Kolata. which will be discussed Finally. Re- Saenz. in part. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 479 made in the participants' homes). "my major goal in life was to be clusion by showing that the effects of the home environment like other boys. or the absence means that the parent's behavior is.C8) Reactive Effects Thus. ably do encourage these attitudes. 1890. see also Kindermann. job for a nice Jewish boy. but correlations between individual parents per family. which an adult researcher. this finding is con. be. Because many Asian American and Jewish parents prob- tered in the laboratory or classroom). and behavioral genetic data support that con. 1987. Children may be tested or observed The relationship between a parent and a child is transactional in a neutral setting. Although Council was of atypical parents are as likely as their peers to adopt the be- referring to two tests given in the same context. equally valid when one measure is a presumed cause and the The parental attitudes are not transmitted directly. the usual assumption is that parental influences are at based on self-report personality inventories (usually adminis. or sistent with the predictions of GS theory. GS theory predicts that the children variables in the same setting" (p. to be doctors. the cause-or-effect problem cannot be solved by looking at two chil. GS theory holds that dyadic relationships have no long. 1993.

A change of residence has important effects—usually and intellectual characteristics. yet their children Children's behavior problems may precede divorce. Thus. 1993) that have a heritable authoritative and most authoritarian child-rearing style of the component and that can make divorce more likely. both socially and academically (Baumrind. (this was not true for girls). and these groups may have different cul. subcultural differ. The fact that the adult children of divorced parents have parents used the observed child-rearing style with all of their a higher risk of marital failure (Glenn & Kramer.. Krantz. the cor. If parents (1990) found that boys whose families had relocated within the belong to a group that sanctions an authoritarian style of child past year were at increased risk of being rejected by their peers rearing. Adolescents who belong to a given peer group generally half of all homes headed by single mothers are below the poverty have parents who also share a peer group and who therefore level (McLanahan & Booth. 1989. If they used it just with that seen as evidence that these effects are long lasting. & Anderson. negative—on children: They lose their peer group and their Subcultural groups such as Asian Americans have their own place in the status hierarchy. new group and establish their status all over again. 1994). Different cultural groups Cherlin et al. of course. McGue and Lykken (1992) have all of their children. why are its effects not visible in behavioral found that the likelihood that a person will get divorced is herita- genetic measures of shared environment? ble. sample moved to a new residence within the first year after a son to expect them to be less heritable than other personality divorce. after all other demographic differences were statistically The differences between subcultural groups can be attributed controlled (Wood. Leiderman. Another study of the effects of fam- dren in that style will be a mark of competence. or a permissive style. if parents use the same child-rearing style for Divorce may be inherited. The Effects of Divorce petent. particularly "acting out" in boys. but by the which are transmitted through the parents' peer group. subcultural groups are likely to belong to different adolescent Divorce often entails a lowering of family financial status. On the other hand. parents with those whose parents are (as yet) not divorced. Block. shared A second problem comes to light when cultural differences in environmental influence was not significantly different from zero. An equally United States. attitudes. Vernberg turally approved styles of child rearing (Chao. This has been interpreted as evidence that have different norms and customs for the job of child rearing. 1989). the problems are not caused by the divorce itself. The Maccoby and Martin (1983) pointed out one problem with conclusion is always the same: On the whole. peer groups that have different group stereotypes. Recent work has demonstrated What is inherited is not divorce per se. \bung people who are members of different 1993). Dornbusch. of the behavior problems commonly reported in the children of Steinberg. but characteris- that the effects of parenting style differ for different subcultural tics such as impulsivity or disagreeableness (Loehlin. the loss . have the least tendency toward alcoholism (McGue. effects. Roberts. parenting styles are considered. Because only (Hetherington. Many have the highest school achievement (Dornbusch et al. permissive (wimpy parents who let their children do with. Halfon. & Brown. 1987) can be children or just with that child. subcultural groups that have been studied. 1987.. Steinberg. nomic status means that there may be a change in the norms of ences in adolescents' behaviors and attitudes may be associated the child's peer group. 1991). These results call divorced parents. Stanley-Hagan. 1986. one child per family was studied. biological children who tend to be competent at the jobs chil- Divorce often entails a change of residence. rather than causing it. Scarlata. What Baumrind may result from personality characteristics that the children in- was measuring was the ability of middle-class Anglo American herited from their conflict-prone parents (Frick & Jackson. to group processes. 1993). In the family conflict and "dysfunction" that precedes it. and The new neighborhood that children find themselves in after a behavioral norms—differences that are sharpened by contrast divorce and relocation may be quite different from the old one. ily relocation showed that children whose families had moved relations reported in the style-of-parenting literature may be frequently were 77% more likely to have multiple behavior due to heritable differences in competence within subcultural problems than children who had moved infrequently or not at groups. the traditional one. The change in socioeco- have similar styles of child rearing. & Nessim. 1992) or a groups.50. there is no rea. new interpretation of this literature. we do not know whether the 1989). all. She found that parents who are competent at this job have thereby make divorce more probable. & Dornbusch. for example. Newacheck. Thus. but warm and who take their children's opinions into account). then it would seem that parents tailor their child-rearing generates an explanation of these findings that is different from styles to the characteristics and behavior of the individual child. & Fraleigh. 1987. Dornbusch. subcultural differences in their parents' whatever they want). Ritter. but not caused by. the children of the style-of-parenting research: The parents could be reacting divorced parents have more behavioral and emotional problems to their child's behavior. GS theory child. then their ability to rear their chil. are visible Baumrind's conclusions into question and are consistent with a years before the parents divorce (Block. McLanahan and dren do. The children of authoritative parents are found to be more com. Estimated heritability in their study was around . 1992). Researchers in this area compare the children of divorced Lamborn. Although the precise characteristics that make up the Booth (1989) reported that 38% of custodial mothers in one quality called competence are difficult to specify. most parents' peer groups sanction the style of plausible interpretation is that the children's problem behavior parenting that Baumrind calls authoritative. Another possible confounding factor is a reactive effect: parents to rear their children in the style approved by their cul- A child's problem behavior may increase family stress and ture. and authoritative (parents who are firm child-rearing styles. & Gjerde.480 JUDITH RICH HARRIS opinions). 1991). 1989. they must win acceptance by a parents' peer groups. Asian American parents. Even if no relocation takes place. Mounts.

1992). their attitude to- curred there. Did their peer group experiences year-old boy skins a knee in the presence of both his mother cause the differences in personality. When data are col. the unexplained variance in personality characteristics. peer group influence is the most plausible ex- replies on the children's behavior at home). researchers are com. Rowe (1994) used behavioral genetic data col. 1992. such groups are unstable in membership—over the divorce home is different from the predivorce home. It would have been of interest to know . ents would be likely to change over the course of a single school tionnaires filled out by the children's parents (who base their year. GS theory could also be tested by generating predictions from The children are observed or measured in childhood. A parental divorce is. It is also consistent with behavioral this prediction is that efforts to account for differences in adult genetic data that show little or no effect of shared home envi. who are typecast by their peers in bring three or four friends home with them and are playing with different ways. therefore. Corre- lescent peer groups. Two examples that events taking place outside the family can have a potent serve as models for the kind of research and analysis that would effect on children's lives. When they changed groups. but they will not account for According to GS theory. Differences in the way a par- ent acts toward two siblings are likely to be good predictors of Directions for Future Research the relationships these siblings will have with their parent 20 years from now (Bedford. Forehand. The first is an examination of cigarette smoking by vorce on siblings (Monahan. the children's teachers. perhaps with become addicted to nicotine. heredity determines whether he or she will familiar peer group and must adapt to a new one. Neighbors. and heredity. such as the Because individual children served as their own controls. do well in school. Chassin. 1992) to show that the environmental factor dren who lived in different households. He used data of his own (Rowe. As its specific assumptions. busch. for within-family environmental differences (measured within part of the shared home environment. lations will no doubt be found between adult personality char- ronmental influences on personality development. ing to a new residence usually means that the child loses the ment with tobacco. account for envi. iors acquired in the peer group over behaviors acquired at home Testing this assertion appears to be straightforward but it is not. Of the chil- wards. a sizable change in status. 1992). ficity of socialization predicts that researchers will be more ing to see parental divorce as something children recover from likely to detect influences of the home environment if their tests in time (Hetherington et al. because sibling. could be tested by looking at those relatively rare occasions Consider two siblings who have different statuses within their when the two contexts overlap. Maccoby. ward schoolwork tended to change to match that of their new vorced children are collected in the children's home. experiences in childhood and ado. peer group experiences. school. the other a burnout). future research is to make investigators more aware of the fact ences. course of a school year. The post. as he might with his mother. within fourth. high school peer groups such as brains and burnouts. it is necessary to tease apart three Perhaps the most important effect this article can have on possible influences on personality characteristics: home experi. the home) are doomed to failure. 1992). planation for the observed changes in the children's attitudes. For example. or are you nicer because Mom loved you best? they have different experiences outside the home and because The assumption that children are predisposed to favor behav- their experiences inside the home do not make them more alike. THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT 481 of family income can affect children's group relationships by The second example is a study by Kindermann (1993) that changing their position in the status hierarchy of their current demonstrates peer group influences on children's motivation to group. & of other environmental influences and from heredity. of course. Particularly for girls. or act peer group experiences because they were already different? "tough. & Sherman. family income and its conse. but they are uninterpret- to the question "Why are children in the same family so differ. The data used in the majority of studies of di. changed groups. lected from neutral. Presson. whose rules of behavior do they is a brain. Neither their intelligence nor the attitudes of their par- presence of the children's parents. 1989). Buchanan. The assumption of the context-speci- data on the effects of divorce accumulate. Mov- group influences determine whether an adolescent will experi. Ed. Kindermann found. This view is consistent with or observations are carried out in the home. effects become smaller or disappear entirely effects of peer group influence can be distinguished from those (Hetherington & Clingempeel. orth. and who turn into adults with follow—their parents' or their peers'? What happens when a 9- very different personalities. who belong to different adolescent crowds (one them in their parents' house.. and chil. Armistead.. Peer shifted residence at least once since their parents' divorce. or consist of replies to ques. these groups are the grade-school equivalents of al. 1993) reported that siblings who lived in different house- lected by other researchers to show that heredity can account holds after a divorce (one with the mother. able: Did Mom love you best because you were nicer than your ent from one another?" (Plomin & Daniels. & Dorn- adolescents. lings who continued to live in the same household. when children childhood peer groups. either one or both had involved in smoking was exposure to peers who smoke. The answer acteristics and differential treatment. outside-the-home observers. not experiences at home. or in the group. or did they have different and his peers—does he cry. many children dren's at-home behavior will reflect the changes that have oc. Kindermann studied cliques of children quences—access to luxuries such as expensive clothing. A recent article on the effects of di- be useful. In grade The children are observed or measured at home.and fifth-grade classrooms and found that they odontists. personality (measured outside the parental home) by looking ronment on adult personality. the other with the for the fact that parents who smoke tend to have children who father) differed more in "psychosocial adjustment" than sib- smoke." as he would with his peers? In order to test the theory. The corollary of the predictions of GS theory. and dermatologists—are important determinants of consisted of children who shared similar attitudes toward social status in childhood and adolescent peer groups (Adler et schoolwork. 1987) is.

Two processes. two personality among children in Western societies: who live in different homes do not.. within-group assimila- The theory described in this article leads to a new interpreta. are irrelevant. that children have many environments. tend to make siblings less alike. However. It is what remains smooths off rough edges of the personality. and makes children of the variance after all the correlations are taken out. socialization has little effect on the measured variance Where Are the Shared and Nonshared Environments? in behavioral genetic studies. undertaking of early childhood. 1. if siblings According to the theory presented here. 1991). that decreases individual differences in personality among tion of behavioral genetic data. assimilation and differentiation. (Within-family differences in status) not in the home. in addi. Thus. Differentiation exaggerates individual If there is an environment that does make siblings different. minus the effects of within-group assimila- house. make siblings different. that the psychological characteristics a child is ences that make siblings different (e. In today's urbanized societies. more like their peers. Plomin. The reinterpretation involves children in Western societies. Outside the GS theory predicts that in Western urbanized societies. may or may not be shared by two children who live in the same These five effects. learned in different contexts. where home.g. & McGuffin. according to GS theory. but the do not live in the same house. Negotiating satis- are generally found to be more alike than nontwin siblings factory relationships with parents and siblings is an important (Plomin & Rende. because what they are referring to is not a negative correla. This is not a useful distinc. because the effective environ. The concepts of the same age and sex who do not live in the same house but of shared and nonshared environmental influence. and defined.. because they will move through mechanisms that do not automatically mix together what is the series of child cultures (Corsaro. it fails to make them more alike than children who was worse or better than the siblings who stayed put. This is somewhat mislead. but no correlation at all—randomness. gathers momentum in the same-age. With these two central hypotheses—that children learn sep- . Twins are the children who are most likely to share both a home environment and an effective environment. 1994. With siblings of different ages. but outside of it. children may be judged more harshly or less harshly. within-family processes will must use different strategies to achieve their goals. Which of these processes it is more likely to be the one that behavioral geneticists call will dominate at a given moment depends on contextual vari- shared The environment that they call nonshared does not ables that cause social categories to become more or less salient. there learn how to get along in all of them. on av. and approaches asymptote in the mixed- Behavioral geneticists often define the portion of the variance sex crowds of adolescents. (Within-family social comparisons and contrasts). 1994). consequences. they people live in privatized homes. a social group. same-sex peer groups of Different? school-age children. It is more likely to be shared by two unrelated children tion. 2. In the preagricultural societies of they share outside the home. according attributed to nonshared environment as environmental influ. it simply fails to make them alike—or.482 JUDITH RICH HARRIS whether the psychosocial adjustment of the siblings who moved to be precise. 1993) at different times. mixed-sex play groups. group socialization would have begun in mixed- age. can account for all environmental variance. McGuire et al. born with become permanently modified by the environment. The effective environment 5. go to the same school. The terms shared and nonshared environment are defined by GS theory postulates three major effects and two minor ones behavioral geneticists in terms of the child's postal address: Two (listed in parentheses) that increase individual differences in children who live in the same home share an environment. course of it may be of little use outside the home. not more alike. what is learned in one is used in The cohort effect can account for the finding that fraternal twins another only if it proves to be useful in both. to GS theory. However. tion. they are more to behave outside the home by becoming members of. our ancestors. as usually who live in the same neighborhood. report does not distinguish between them. and iden- likely to have acquired those similarities in the environment tifying with. children learn how show similarities not attributable to shared genes. Within-group assimilation also only the environmental portion of the variance. whether a child resides at 42 Oak Street hold similar ranks in the social hierarchy of the same peer or at 56 Oak Street is a variable that has no long-term group. It is within these groups. Assimilation transmits cultural norms. Conclusions even twins who belong to the same peer group may have mark- edly different social ranks in the group or be typecast by their The answer to the question asked by the title of this article is peers in different ways. are responsible ing. leads to socialization—the transmission of cultural norms. Their mission is to tion to these possible differences in rank and typecasting. even though both pairs share. because in most cases the partici- pants were all reared in the same culture. so- Does the Nonshared Environment Make Siblings cialization gets its start in the nursery school or day-care center. Between-group contrasts tion. Within-group social comparisons characteristics in ways that can be measured in adulthood—is 4. They are aided by adaptive will also be cohort differences. tion. Within-group differences in status ment—the environment that will modify the child's genetic 3. 50% of their genes. for the modifications. Owen. differences and increases variability. Sources of Variance Explaining the Unexplained Variance GS theory postulates only one effect. but what is learned in the erage.

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