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Journal Article

Citation

Glick GC, Rose AJ. Dev. Psychol. 2011; 47(4): 1117-1132.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2011, American Psychological Association)

DOI

10.1037/a0023277

PMID

21443336

Abstract

The proposal that friendships provide a context for the development of social skills is widely accepted. Yet little research exists to support this claim. In the present study, children and adolescents (N = 912) were presented with vignettes in which a friend encountered a social stressor and they could help the friend and vignettes in which they encountered a stressor and could seek help from the friend. Social strategies in response to these vignettes were assessed in the fall and spring of the school year. Different indicators of friendship adjustment had unique effects on youths' strategies in response to helping tasks. Whereas having more friends predicted decreases in avoidant or hostile strategies, having high-quality friendships predicted emotionally engaged strategies that involved talking about the problem. Moreover, whereas having more friends predicted increases in relatively disengaged strategies, like distraction and acting like the problem never happened, having high-quality friendships predicted decreases in these strategies. The present study also tested whether youths' strategies in the fall predicted changes in friendship adjustment by the spring. Only strategies which may be seen as major friendship transgressions (i.e., avoiding or blaming the friend when the friend encounters a problem) predicted changes in friendship over time. Collectively, these results provide important new information on the interplay between social competencies and friendship experiences and suggest that friendships may provide a critical venue for the development of important relationship skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).


Language: en

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