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Patterns of Friendship

Carollee Howes
Child Development
Vol. 54, No. 4 (Aug., 1983), pp. 1041-1053
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129908
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129908
Page Count: 13
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Patterns of Friendship
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Abstract

Patterns of friendship were compared within 5 groups of young children. 3 groups were in a child-care center serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 2 groups, 1 made up of toddlers and 1 of preschoolers, were in programs for emotionally disturbed children. Friendships, defined as mutual preference for interaction, skill at complementary and reciprocal peer play, and shared positive affect, were observed in all groups. Younger children had fewer and more stable friendships. Emotionally disturbed children limited their friendships to single partners and returned to these partners following disruptions in the friendship. Over a school year, the greatest increases in complexity of social interaction were observed within stable friendship pairs.

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