Friendship and friendship quality in middle childhood: Links with peer group acceptance and feelings of loneliness and social dissatisfaction
The distinction between friendship adjustment and acceptance by the peer group was examined. Third- through 5th-grade children (N = 881) completed sociometric measures of acceptance and friendship, a measure of loneliness, a questionnaire on the features of their very best friendships, and a measure of their friendship satisfaction. Results indicated that many low-accepted children had best friends and were satisfied with these friendships. However, these children's friendships were lower than those of other children on most dimensions of quality. Having a friend, friendship quality, and group acceptance made separate contributions to the prediction of loneliness. Results indicate the utility of the new friendship quality measure and the value of distinguishing children's friendship adjustment from their general peer acceptance.
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