Kindergartners who become friends : classroom influences on interactions and patterns of stability and change

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Andrew Winterhoff (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jonathan Tudge

Abstract: This research was a year-long longitudinal study examining the friend making activity of kindergarten children. The subjects were a diverse sample of 38 children, attending two kindergarten classes in a suburban public school in North Carolina. The sample included 15 girls (mean age 65 months), and 23 boys (mean age 67.6 months). Median income of subjects' families was $40,000. Spot observational methods were used to record children's social interactions. Observational data were aggregated by seven coding periods to identify frequent playmates. Teacher and child nominations of individual's common playmates were recorded at the end of each coding period. The three methods of playmate identification were compared to determine the concordance between them. It was hypothesized that concordance between all methods would exist. Individual children were identified as friends by the frequency, stability, and quality of their interactions, and the concordance between at least two identification methods. It was hypothesized that the individuals who became stable friends with classmates would engage in more interactions outside of the proximity of teachers, and during free activity times. It was also hypothesized that boys would be more likely than girls to be identified as stable friends. By using observational data, three stability-change types of individuals were identified. Marginals were relative social isolates. Changers were children who changed play partners. Consistents had one or more frequent and lasting play partners. Data signifying the level of joint activity and positive reciprocal interactions by types were compared. Graphs were constructed showing the variability of these interactions by types across the year under varying conditions of the proximal setting variables, teacher presence and classroom structure.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1995
Friendship in children
Kindergarten $x Social aspects

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