Having friends, keeping friends, making friends, and being liked by peers in the classroom: predictors of children's early school adjustment?

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Abstract

The potential role that children's classroom peer relations play in their school adjustment was investigated during the first 2 months of kindergarten and the remainder of the school year. Measures of 125 children's classroom peer relationships were obtained on 3 occasions: at school entrance, after 2 months of school, and at the end of the school year. Measures of school adjustment, including children's school perceptions, anxiety, avoidance, and performance, were obtained during the second and third assessment occasions. After controlling mental age, sex, and preschool experience, measures of children's classroom peer relationships were used to forecast later school adjustment. Results indicated that children with a larger number of classroom friends during school entrance developed more favorable school perceptions by the second month, and those who maintained these relationships liked school better as the year progressed. Making new friends in the classroom was associated with gains in school performance, and early peer rejection forecasted less favorable school perceptions, higher levels of school avoidance, and lower performance levels over the school year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1100
Number of pages20
JournalChild Development
Volume61
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes

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Social Adjustment
classroom
school
performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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title = "Having friends, keeping friends, making friends, and being liked by peers in the classroom: predictors of children's early school adjustment?",
abstract = "The potential role that children's classroom peer relations play in their school adjustment was investigated during the first 2 months of kindergarten and the remainder of the school year. Measures of 125 children's classroom peer relationships were obtained on 3 occasions: at school entrance, after 2 months of school, and at the end of the school year. Measures of school adjustment, including children's school perceptions, anxiety, avoidance, and performance, were obtained during the second and third assessment occasions. After controlling mental age, sex, and preschool experience, measures of children's classroom peer relationships were used to forecast later school adjustment. Results indicated that children with a larger number of classroom friends during school entrance developed more favorable school perceptions by the second month, and those who maintained these relationships liked school better as the year progressed. Making new friends in the classroom was associated with gains in school performance, and early peer rejection forecasted less favorable school perceptions, higher levels of school avoidance, and lower performance levels over the school year.",
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