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Friendship Among Children

Friendship Among Children

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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Friendships in childhood are essential to overall development, beyond having someone to socialize with. Research suggests that friendships in children can help mitigate psychopathology, can be considered protective factors against being bullied and acting as a bully, and help with developing strong cultural competence. Aspects of friendships such as quality and intimacy of the relationship, as well as quantity of friends have been investigated for their importance in moderating many of these factors. Lack of friendships can lead to both short-term and long-term challenges for children, such as loneliness and feeling isolated from peers, anxiety and other internalizing disorders, and potential school difficulties overall. Considering the benefits of having significant friendships and the risks associated with not having stable friendships, it is important to understand the mechanisms by which friendships impact children and their development.


children, developmental psychology, friendship, group acceptance, intimacy of relationship, popularity, psychopathology, quality of relationship

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This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Friendship Among Children