Publication Date


Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study was to examine the similarities between children and their friends. Previous research had focused on demographic similarities, with a little attention given to behavioral similarities. This study sought to expand the knowledge of similarities between friends to sociometric and social information processing characteristics and show that friends were more similar than random pairs of children. Children completed a rating and nomination sociometric interview. Children also completed a social information processing interview in which they viewed ambiguous provocation situations and then rated a series of social goals and gave social problem solving responses. Two-hundred and twenty-four pairs of reciprocated friends and 224 random pairs of children were identified and used for analyses. Correlational analyses and regression analyses were used to assess similarities. Results showed that friend pairs were similar for prosocial, hostile/instrumental, and passive/avoidant goals, however, regression analyses indicated that friends' characteristics were significant predictors of only some prosocial and hostile/instrumental goals. Friend pairs also were similar in the passivity/assertiveness of their social problem solving responses. Thus, the current study shows some support for the hypothesis that children and their friends are similar in their social processing mechanisms. Further research should be conducted to determine whether small sample size and small standard deviations made the detection of effects more difficult.


Child Psychology