Characterizing and comparing the friendships of anxious-solitary and unsociable preadolescents

Gary Ladd, Becky Ladd, Natalie Wilkens, Karen P. Kochel, Er M. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Friendships matter for withdrawn youth because the consequences of peer isolation are severe. From a normative sample of 2,437 fifth graders (1,245 females; M age=10.25), a subset (n=1,364; 638 female) was classified into 3 groups (anxious-solitary, unsociable, comparison) and followed across a school year. Findings indicated that it was more common for unsociable than anxious-solitary children to have friends, be stably friended, and participate multiple friendships. For withdrawn as well as nonwithdrawn children, peer rejection predicted friendlessness, but this relation was strongest for anxious-solitary children. The friends of unsociable youth were more accepted by peers than those of anxious-solitary youth. The premise that friendship inhibits peer victimization was substantiated for withdrawn as well as nonwithdrawn youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1453
Number of pages20
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterizing and comparing the friendships of anxious-solitary and unsociable preadolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this