Friend Selection

Who is friends with whom? For young children, proximity is a key factor in friend selection. Preschoolers tend to become friends with peers who are nearby physically as neighbors or playgroup members. Similarity in age is a major factor in friendship selection, and children tend to make friends with age-mates, particularly in Western societies, where schools are segregated by age. Another powerful factor in friend selection is gender: girls tend to be friends with girls, and boys tend to be friends with boys. The preference for same-sex friends emerges in preschool and continues through childhood. To a lesser degree, children tend to be friends with peers of the same race.

Beyond these basic factors, a key determinant of friendship is similarity of interests and behaviors. During the preschool and elementary years, children prefer peers who have a similar style of play. As children grow older, they tend to have friends who have similar temperaments, prosocial and antisocial behaviors, and levels of acceptance by peers. Adolescent friends tend to be similar in their interests and attitudes, and in the degree to which they have explored options in regard to issues such as dating, education, and future occupations.

Parenting Teens Special Report

Parenting Teens Special Report

Top Parenting Teenagers Tips. Everyone warns us about the terrible twos, but a toddler does not match the strife caused once children hit the terrible teens. Your precious children change from idolizing your every move to leaving you in the dust.

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