Children’s Behavior in Triadic Situations

This study examines how three teens work together as a small group.  One challenge that all small groups face is that coordinating three-way interaction is much more difficult than two-way interaction and at times coalitions form and one partner can feel left out or threatened by the closer relationship of the remaining two.  Most of the time these feelings are transient and easily dismissed, but past theorizing has suggested that this is not always the case, particularly when one member of the group has fragile self-esteem or is prone to jealousy.  In these instances, social interaction can be difficult, feelings can be hurt easily, and the group must work more diligently to include everyone equally to be successful.   These ideas have seldom been tested empirically however, and the personal and activity circumstances that contribute to successful and unsuccessful triadic interaction are poorly understood.  This study addresses this gap.

This project is funded by a grant from National Science Foundation. Jeffery Parker is the PI. Research personnel include Hwaheun Kim and Kristina McDonald. For additional information contact Jeffery Parker.