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ERIC Number: EJ897486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0047-2891
Friendship and Adjustment: A Focus on Mixed-Grade Friendships
Bowker, Julie C.; Spencer, Sarah V.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, v39 n11 p1318-1329 Nov 2010
Research on friendship and adjustment has traditionally focused on same-sex, same-grade, and same-school peers. Recent evidence, however, suggests that many adolescents have other-sex and other-school friends that significantly impact their adjustment. The purpose of this study was to examine young adolescents' experiences with "mixed-grade" friendships (friendships between adolescents in the same school but of different grades), a type of friendship about which little is known. Participants were 179 seventh grade and 178 eighth grade students (55 percent female; M age = 13.2 years, SD = 0.68) who reported on their same-grade and mixed-grade friendships and loneliness. Peer nominations of same-grade aggression, anxious-withdrawal, victimization and rejection were also collected. Descriptive analyses revealed that 83 percent of students reported having a mixed-grade friend, 36 percent of these friendships being mutual. Adolescents who made mixed-grade nominations and who had mutual mixed-grade friendships reported less loneliness than other adolescents. Results also suggested that mixed-grade friends may protect same-grade friendless girls from feelings of loneliness, and eighth grade same-grade friendless adolescents and anxious-withdrawn boys from victimization. Taken together, findings strongly suggest that mixed-grade friendships are developmentally significant peer relationships during early adolescence.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A