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      Preadolescent Friendship and Peer Rejection as Predictors of Adult Adjustment

      , ,
      Child Development
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Although peer-rejected children appear to be at risk for later difficulties, the contribution of preadolescent friendship to adaptive adjustment lacks an empirical foundation. In this 12 year follow-up investigation, 30 young adults who had a stable, reciprocal best friend in fifth grade and 30 who had been chumless completed measures of adjustment in multiple domains. Friendship and peer rejection were found to have unique implications for adaptive development. Lower levels of preadolescent peer rejection uniquely predicted overall life status adjustment, whereas friended preadolescents had higher levels of general self-worth in adulthood even after controlling for perceived competence in preadolescence. In contrast, peer rejection and the absence of friendship were both associated with psychopathological symptoms in adulthood, although neither was uniquely predictive of symptomatology.

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          Most cited references19

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          The company they keep: friendships and their developmental significance.

          Considerable evidence tells us that ¿being liked¿ and ¿being disliked¿ are related to social competence, but evidence concerning friendships and their developmental significance is relatively weak. The argument is advanced that the developmental implications of these relationships cannot be specified without distinguishing between having friends, the identity of one's friends, and friendship quality. Most commonly, children are differentiated from one another in diagnosis and research only according to whether or not they have friends. The evidence shows that friends provide one another with cognitive and social scaffolding that differs from what nonfriends provide, and having friends supports good outcomes across normative transitions. But predicting developmental outcome also requires knowing about the behavioral characteristics and attitudes of children's friends as well as qualitative features of these relationships.
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            Measuring Friendship Quality During Pre- and Early Adolescence: The Development and Psychometric Properties of the Friendship Qualities Scale

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              Five domains of interpersonal competence in peer relationships.

              In three studies we investigated the utility of distinguishing among different domains of interpersonal competence in college students' peer relationships. In Study 1 we developed a questionnaire to assess five dimensions of competence: initiating relationships, self-disclosure, asserting displeasure with others' actions, providing emotional support, and managing interpersonal conflicts. Initial validation evidence was gathered. We found that self-perceptions of competence varied as a function of sex of subject, sex of interaction partner, and competence domain. In Study 2 we found moderate levels of agreement between ratings of competence by subjects and their roommates. Interpersonal competence scores were also related in predictable ways to subject and roommate reports of masculinity and femininity, social self-esteem, loneliness, and social desirability. In Study 3 we obtained ratings of subjects' competence from their close friends and new acquaintances. Relationship satisfaction among new acquaintances was predicted best by initiation competence, whereas satisfaction in friendships was most strongly related to emotional support competence. The findings provide strong evidence of the usefulness of distinguishing among domains of interpersonal competence.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Child Development
                Wiley
                00093920
                February 1998
                February 1998
                September 16 2008
                : 69
                : 1
                : 140-153
                Article
                10.1111/j.1467-8624.1998.tb06139.x
                9499563
                39977e43-573a-44f7-8b26-9ec6fda795b3
                © 2008

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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