Child interactions with the environment (adults, peers, materials) constitute the engine for development and learning, especially in early stages of development. Emotionally secure, responsive, and contingent interactions with adults and peers promote emotional, cognitive, and social development. Interpersonal interactions facilitate the acquisition of social skills and emotion regulation strategies, which are learned through the observation of the behaviors of adults and peers and through the direct interactions with them. This chapter presents the theoretical foundations for considering interpersonal relations as engines of development, and synthetizes the latest results on the impact of interpersonal relationships on the development of children in natural environments (school, home, and the community).
Part of the book: Interpersonal Relationships