Children’s development and all they achieve in the early years of life occur in the context of relationships. Relationships are essential as children form concepts about the world and their place in it. Children form relationships with a variety of people such as parents, other family members, caregivers, peers, and a range of others with whom they interact on a less frequent basis. This entry considers the relationship of children with their primary caregivers, with teachers, and with peers. These relationships are powerful and their quality, both positive and negative, greatly influences how children function as they go through life.


The earliest relationship almost all children form is with a parent or parent substitute. A large body of research has examined the formation of attachment, the ...

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