A functional approach to social dominance (i.e., resource control) advances important and unique developmental questions not suggested by structuralist approaches. The functional approach to social dominance emphasizes that behavior can be motivated by self-interest, and yet recognizes the relative advantage gained by individuals who pursue their own goals while balancing them (or appearing to balance them) with the goals of others (a question of social competence). The strategies (competent or incompetent) a child employs to control resources can affect developmental outcomes, as can the win-loss experiences of the child.
Hawley, Patricia H.
"Strategies of Play and Winning the Game:
A Reply to Brian Vaughn,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 45
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol45/iss3/2