Presidential address to the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, April 1, 1995, Indianapolis, IN. The author is grateful to W. Andrew Collins, Rosemary K. Hartup, Gary W. Ladd, Brett Laursen, and Andrew F. Newcomb for their comments on this manuscript.
The Company They Keep: Friendships and Their Developmental Significance
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 67, Issue 1, pages 1–13, February 1996
How to Cite
Hartup, W. W. (1996), The Company They Keep: Friendships and Their Developmental Significance. Child Development, 67: 1–13. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01714.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Considerable evidence tells us that “being liked” and “being disliked” are related to social competence, but evidence concerning friendships and their developmental significance is relatively weak. The argument is advanced that the developmental implications of these relationships cannot be specified without distinguishing between having friends, the identity of one's friends, and friendship quality. Most commonly, children are differentiated from one another in diagnosis and research only according to whether or not they have friends. The evidence shows that friends provide one another with cognitive and social scaffolding that differs from what nonfriends provide, and having friends supports good outcomes across normative transitions. But predicting developmental outcome also requires knowing about the behavioral characteristics and attitudes of children's friends as well as qualitative features of these relationships.