• contextual-developmental perspective;
  • culture;
  • socioemotional development

Abstract— This article discusses a contextual-developmental perspective that focuses on peer interaction as an important context that mediates the links between culture and socioemotional development. According to this perspective, cultural norms and values provide a basis for social evaluation processes in peer interaction, which, in turn, serve to regulate individual socioemotional functioning. Children play an active role in their development through their response to peer influence and through their participation in adopting existing cultures and constructing new cultures for social evaluation and other peer activities. Culture may also guide the social processes by specifying the functional and structural characteristics of children’s peer relationships such as friendships and group networks in which interaction occurs.