What are Friendships?

2502 Words Jan 28th, 2018 10 Pages
Friendship is not only important in childhood and school life, but also throughout our lives (Siebert, Mutran & Reitzes, 1999). Hay, Payne and Chadwick (2004) suggest that children’s relationships with their peers emerge as early as the first years of life and children can begin to develop preferences for certain peers by age three. Friendships (or lack thereof) can have a significant impact in many areas of our lives including, but not restricted to: marital happiness, weight, job satisfaction and poverty (Rath, 2006). Research into friendship is an extremely important topic.
Close friends can protect us against the impact of others, as well as the impact of our surroundings. Ladd, Kochenderfer and Coleman (1997) concluded that conflict in friendships was associated with multiple forms of school maladjustment for boys. Low levels of friendship quality and peer acceptance has also been linked to teacher-reported maladjustment (Waldrip, Malcolm & Jensen-Campbell, 2008). The presence of a best friend can be an effective buffer in a time of emotional strain. When a best friend is not present, there has shown to be an increase in cortisol and a decrease in global self-worth (Adams, Santo & Bukowski, 2011). Friends can also buffer against the effects of peer victimisation; victimisation is predictive of teacher reported externalising and…
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