Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


The purpose of this study was to examine the similarity between same-grade and different-grade friendship pairs compared to randomly paired children in the same grade and in different grades. Previous research has focused primarily on examining same-grade children's friendships and has not examined friendships of children differing in grade. This study examined similarities between same- and different-grade friends on teacher-rated behaviors and peer relations variables. Children in 78 ungraded primary classrooms (N = 908) participated in a socio-metric interview and were rated by their teachers using the Teacher-Child Rating Scale (T-CRS, Hightower, 1986). Friendship pairs were composed of children who mutually selected one another as friends. The ungraded classrooms made it possible for children to have friends who were either one grade higher or lower. Randomly paired children were matched on age and gender and compared to the friendship pairs using teacher-rated and peer relations variables. The results indicate that common ground is an important basis for friendship, regardless of whether the friends are matched in grade level.


Child Psychology | Psychology