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Having Friends, Keeping Friends, Making Friends, and Being Liked by Peers in the Classroom: Predictors of Children's Early School Adjustment?

Gary W. Ladd
Child Development
Vol. 61, No. 4 (Aug., 1990), pp. 1081-1100
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130877
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130877
Page Count: 20
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Having Friends, Keeping Friends, Making Friends, and Being Liked by Peers in the Classroom: Predictors of Children's Early School Adjustment?
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Abstract

The potential role that children's classroom peer relations play in their school adjustment was investigated during the first 2 months of kindergarten and the remainder of the school year. Measures of 125 children's classroom peer relationships were obtained on 3 occasions: at school entrance, after 2 months of school, and at the end of the school year. Measures of school adjustment, including children's school perceptions, anxiety, avoidance, and performance, were obtained during the second and third assessment occasions. After controlling mental age, sex, and preschool experience, measures of children's classroom peer relationships were used to forecast later school adjustment. Results indicated that children with a larger number of classroom friends during school entrance developed more favorable school perceptions by the second month, and those who maintained these relationships liked school better as the year progressed. Making new friends in the classroom was associated with gains in school performance, and early peer rejection forecasted less favorable school perceptions, higher levels of school avoidance, and lower performance levels over the school year.

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