The Relations between Parental Friendships and Children's Friendships: Self-Report and Observational Analysis



The relations between the quality of mothers' and fathers' friendships and that of their children's friendships was examined. One hundred twenty-five fourth-grade children (9 year olds) completed the Friendship Quality Questionnaire. Observational measures of the target children playing with their self-selected friend were also collected. Mothers and fathers separately completed the Friendship Quality Questionnaire about their best friend. Results indicated that children's self-reports and observational measures of friendship quality were not highly correlated for girls, but were moderately associated for boys. The quality of mothers' and fathers' friendships was related to the quality of children's friendships, but the nature of the relations with children's friendships differed for girls and boys. The implications of these findings for the socialization of friendship patterns and the assessment of children's friendships were noted.