Fitting in or standing out? conformity in childhood

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  • As children begin school and other new experiences, what happens to the values, behavior, and expectations they have learned at home? Why do so many young people follow the crowd? And when does conformity become a bad thing? This program explores those questions, visiting a group of 25 seven-year-olds who are learning to cope with peer groups and situations. Children and parents are given tasks to see who conforms and who is comfortable standing out, even when personal convictions are under pressure. Subjects watch film clips of older children and are asked to copy them; clips of party scenes are also shown, eliciting opinions about what it would be like to attend. Finally, a Q&A game challenges kids to speak their minds when presented with obviously wrong answers.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on June 04, 2008.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • Disabled Mother's Challenges (3:48) -- Why Children Conform (2:54) -- Identical Twins/Separate Identities (3:58) -- Diabetic Child in School (3:58) -- Children and Compassion (4:33) -- Solitary Childhood: Increased Imagination (2:17) -- Sibling Rivalry: What Happens When a New Baby Arrives (4:08) -- Non-Conformist Parent (6:06) -- Sibling as Teacher and Guide (3:44) -- Peer Pressure and Self-Confidence (3:03) -- Only Child in Social Settings (3:52) -- Identical Twins/Different Natures (3:55) -- Testosterone: Can It Explain Behavioral Differences? (1:45) -- A Boy's Need to Conform (2:33) -- Identical Twins: Different Behaviors (1:34) -- Adjusting to Family Dynamics (2:38) -- Social Life at School (2:32)
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