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Second- and sixth-grade boys were paired with a friend or an acquaintance (N = 120), and each dyad completed a problem-solving task under 1 of 3 incentive conditions-cooperative (shared rewards), competitive (proportional rewards), or no reward contingencies. Communicative exchange, affective expression, synchrony of task-oriented behavior, and task performance were examined for evidence of purported mutuality in children's friendship relations. Greater mutuality and social responsivity characterized the interactions of friends as compared with the interactions of acquaintances; however, developmental differences in responsivity and mutuality were not apparent in these 2 age groups. The reciprocal exchange between friends was present regardless of reward contingencies and appeared to culminate in better task performance for friendship pairs. The characteristics and function of mutuality in children's friendship relations were discussed.
Child Development © 1982 Society for Research in Child Development