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Abstract

Friends foster self-esteem and a sense of well-being, socialize one another, and support one another in coping with developmental transitions and life stress. Friends engage in different activities with one another across the life span, but friendship is conceived similarly by children and adults. Friends and friendships, however, are not all alike. The developmental significance of having friends depends on the characteristics of the friends, especially whether the friends are antisocial or socially withdrawn. Outcomes also depend on whether friendships are supportive and intimate or fractious and unstable. Among both children and adults, friendships have clear-cut developmental benefits at times but are mixed blessings at other times.
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... As such, future BOSS interventions may need to place more emphasis on these perspective-taking skills. Even so, it is critically important to emphasize the value of friendships at all levels of development in fostering happiness, well-being, psychological adjustment, self-esteem, and learning and refining interpersonal skills (56,57). ...
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Introduction People with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), are at heightened risk for the negative sequalae of loneliness, including depression and anxiety. While societal factors such as stigma or limited social opportunities contribute to loneliness, so too do deficits in social cognition and social skills. People with PWS have specific difficulties recognizing affect in others, accurately interpreting social interactions, and taking the perspectives of others. These features, combined with hyperphagia, rigidity, and insistence on sameness conspire to impede the abilities of people with PWS to make and sustain friendships and reduce feelings of loneliness. Methods We developed and administered an intervention, Building Our Social Skills (BOSS), that aimed to improve social skill deficits in PWS. The 10-week intervention was administered on-line via Zoom to 51 young people with PWS in the U.S. (M age = 20.8, SD = 6.42). Two clinicians co-led groups of 6–8 participants in 30-min sessions, 3 times per week, and also trained 4 graduate students to co-lead groups with high fidelity. We used a pre-post intervention and 3-month follow-up design, with no control group, and mitigated this design limitation by triangulating across informants and methodologies. Specifically, parents completed the widely used Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and participants were individually interviewed about their friendships and loneliness. Interview responses were reliably coded by independent raters. Results Repeated measure multivariate analyses, with baseline values entered as covariates, revealed significant pre-to post-test improvements in the SRS's social cognition, motivation and communication subscales ( p 's < 0.001), with large effect sizes ( n p 2 = 0.920, 0.270, and 0.204, respectively). Participant and parental reports of loneliness were correlated with the CBCL's Internalizing domain, specifically the Anxiety/Depressed subdomain. Over time, parents reported getting along better with peers, increased contact with friends, more friends and less loneliness. Participants also reported significantly less loneliness and more friends. Conclusions This mixed method, proof-of-concept study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering an on-line social skills intervention to young people with PWS. As no differences were found between clinician vs. graduate student outcomes, the BOSS curriculum holds considerable promise for wider dissemination and implementation in the PWS community.
... Changes in the classroom environment such as new students entering the classroom or introducing new curriculum or instructional strategies, present a good opportunity to revisit these questions and ensure a climate that supports and uplifts all the social identities of the students is maintained. Friendships are critical building blocks for connection and belonging (Hartup & Stevens, 1999). Friendships are also complex and difficult to define (Bagwell & Schmidt, 2011). ...
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The rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has continued to rise in prevalence to 1 in 54 with males being four times more likely to be diagnosed as having ASD (Maenner et al., 2020). Which leads to questions regarding if females are less likely to have ASD or do females present differently with ASD. This literature review looks at the differences between males and females with ASD in the current literature over the last five years. Articles were coded for demographics information and open coding was used until nine distinct categories emerged. These categories and implications for practice and future research will be shared.
... Lack of high-quality peer relationships are also one of the first sources of loneliness, especially as children transition from forming and maintaining relationships based on proximity and shared interest to desiring relationships that have more positive qualities. Forming high-quality friendships with peers can positively impact social confidence and success navigating the social world (see Collins and Laursen, 1999;Hartup and Stevens, 1999); however, friendships with negative qualities, such as dominance and rivalry, can negatively impact children's social skills, increase disruptive and disagreeable behaviors, and increase feelings of loneliness (Keefe and Berndt, 1996;Ladd et al., 1996). Exclusion from peer groups in general is also linked to loneliness in kindergarteners (Kochenderfer-Ladd and Wardrop, 2001). ...
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In social species such as humans, non-human primates, and even many rodent species, social interaction and the maintenance of social bonds are necessary for mental and physical health and wellbeing. In humans, perceived isolation, or loneliness, is not only characterized by physical isolation from peers or loved ones, but also involves negative perceptions about social interactions and connectedness that reinforce the feelings of isolation and anxiety. As a complex behavioral state, it is no surprise that loneliness and isolation are associated with dysfunction within the ventral striatum and the limbic system – brain regions that regulate motivation and stress responsiveness, respectively. Accompanying these neural changes are physiological symptoms such as increased plasma and urinary cortisol levels and an increase in stress responsivity. Although studies using animal models are not perfectly analogous to the uniquely human state of loneliness, studies on the effects of social isolation in animals have observed similar physiological symptoms such as increased corticosterone, the rodent analog to human cortisol, and also display altered motivation, increased stress responsiveness, and dysregulation of the mesocortical dopamine and limbic systems. This review will discuss behavioral and neuropsychological components of loneliness in humans, social isolation in rodent models, and the neurochemical regulators of these behavioral phenotypes with a neuroanatomical focus on the corticostriatal and limbic systems. We will also discuss social loss as a unique form of social isolation, and the consequences of bond disruption on stress-related behavior and neurophysiology.
... School peers can also be an important contributor to resilience, developing social competencies, building selfesteem, and providing a source of emotional and practical support (Hartup & Stevens, 1999). Friendships characterized by high social support and acceptance are associated with lower levels of mental health difficulties and behavioural problems (Rothon et al., 2011;McPherson et al., 2014). ...
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Globally, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in children and adolescents. Previous research has demonstrated that supportive relationships are a key protective factor against poor mental health in children, particularly amongst those who have experienced adversity. However, fewer studies have examined the relative impact of different types of supportive relationships. The current study examined the association between level of family adult support, school adult support, and school peer support and mental wellbeing in a sample of children (age 8–15 years, N = 2,074) from schools in the UK. All three sources of support were independently associated with mental wellbeing. Analyses demonstrated a graded relationship between the number of sources of support and the odds of low mental wellbeing (LMWB), reflecting a cumulative protective effect. While all three sources of support were best, it was not vital, and analyses demonstrated a protective effect of school sources of support on LMWB amongst children with low family support. Peer support was found to be particularly important, with prevalence of LMWB similar amongst children who had high peer support (but low family and school adult support), and those who had high family and school adult support, (but low peer support), indicating that high peer support has an equivalent impact of two other protective factors. Findings from the study highlight the crucial context schools provide in fostering positive peer relationships and supportive teacher–student relationships to promote mental health and resilience for all children, including both those with and without supportive home environments.
... Adolescents who are considered to be well-regarded by their friends score higher in self-esteem. On the other hand, considering oneself as lacking in social ability has a negative influence on self-esteem, which can even lead to depressive feelings [45,48]. As Campbell [49] indicated, dissatisfaction with oneself produces a more damaging effect on the feeling of well-being than dissatisfaction with any other domain of life. ...
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... Instead of meeting people in person or face to face, maintaining relationships with their trusted network of people can increase the states of well-being -whether it is bridging or bonding social capital. It is important to note that social capital concept derives its strength from the fundamental characteristics of reciprocity, the sense that one supports and sustains one's friends and receives support in return (Hartup and Stevens, 1999). Thus, this study assumes that bridging and bonding social capital mediates the relationship between intensity of social media usage and psychological well-being. ...
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The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease-COVID-19, as a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020. In India, authorities have implemented measures like social distancing and complete lockdown to delay the spread of this pandemic. While it is necessary to maintain social distancing, it has impact on economy, business and individual level stress and well-being. This study examines how technology adoption, especially social media usage helps the people to maintain a positive well-being by staying connected with others during social distancing and lockdown. Findings of the study indicate that social media usage was positively related with social capital and psychological well-being. Moreover, bridging and bonding social capital mediate the relationship between social media usage and well-being. This study extends the theoretical models by adding the significant role of social media in maintaining social capital for well-being during COVID-19 lockdown.
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We examined how children's peer experiences mediated the association between dispositional emotionality and academic functioning. One hundred and ninety-nine children (104 girls, Mage = 10 years) participated in a two-year study. The predictors (self-reported emotional experience, peer-nominations of emotional expressivity) and the mediators (self-reported positive and negative peer experiences) were assessed at Time 1; outcome variables (academic achievement and teacher-rated engagement) were assessed at Time 2. The effect of emotional expressivity (happiness, anger) on academic functioning was direct. The effect of emotional experience (sadness, anger) on academic functioning was indirect via negative peer experiences. The specific dimensions of emotionality (experience, expressivity) warrant consideration in the assessment of children's emotionality because they appear to have unique interpersonal mechanisms that lead to academic functioning. Beyond overt emotional expressivity, educators and caregivers should carefully attend to children's covert emotional experience in efforts to promote adaptive peer relationships and academic outcomes for children.
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The idea that age-related reductions in network size are proactively managed by older people is explored by examining the interrelationships among chronological age, network composition, social support, and feelings of social embeddedness (FSE) in a representative sample of 156 community-dwelling and institutionalized adults aged 70-104 years. Comparisons between people with and without nuclear families are made to explore the influence of opportunity structures on network size. Social networks of very old people are nearly half as large as those of old people, but the number of very close relationships does not differentiate age groups. Among Ss without living nuclear family members, the number of emotionally close social partners predicted FSE better than among Ss with nuclear family members. Findings provide evidence for proactive selection, compensation, and optimization toward the goal of emotional enhancement and social functioning in old age.
Chapter
In this chapter I outline a cognitive-behavioral framework for understanding disorders of friendship. I explain how specific patterns of thinking and behavior create barriers to friendship satisfaction. I also offer a developmental perspective, detailing the progression of cognitive organization that influences later friendship patterns. Finally, I describe interventions targeted at cognitive and behavioral blocks to friendship. The emphasis in the chapter is on understanding long-term, chronic difficulties with friendship.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the theories of adolescent friendships. The theories of attraction, formation, maintenance, disruption, and dissolution of friendships that were developed in research on adult social relations have been uncritically applied to research on youngsters. Proximity is a basic element in all the theories of attraction. In most cases, persons will not become close friends unless they are in close contact, but it is equally true that many persons in close and frequent contact do not become friends. Balance theory posits that associations will be more satisfying and beneficial if friends select each other and make similar selections of other friends. Feelings of distress are assumed to result from asymmetric adult friendships. The concept of status is also basic to theories of friendship selection. The status-based initiation—response model asserts that one individual reaches out for friendship to another of higher status. Social exchange theory explains the adult selections and rejections of friends on the basis of the rewards and costs that result from their association. Costs and rewards are abstract concepts that gain meaning from social experiences. School and classroom environments may impose rewards and costs on particular types of associations, despite the students' personal preferences or decisions.
Chapter
Interpersonal attraction has long been of considerable interest to social psychologists. Much of the work in this area, however, has been of the “one-shot” variety, focusing on factors influencing initial attraction between strangers. Social psychologists, for instance, have studied how proximity, similarity, physical attractiveness, and equity influence strangers’ initial attraction toward one another. Recently, some investigators have argued that close relationships such as friendships or romantic relationships are so different from casual ones that little of what has been gleaned from the study of initial attraction will be of use in understanding them (e.g., Levinger & Snoek, 1972; Murstein, Cerreto, & MacDonald; Rubin, 1973). Such criticisms, whether or not they turn out to be correct, highlight the importance of social psychologists addressing themselves more fully to understanding the dynamics of close friendships and how people become close. If whatever it is that distinguishes close from not close relationships develops very gradually, perhaps it is true that studying people who have just met will be of little importance to understanding the formation and dynamics of relationships such as friendships and romantic relationships. If, however, people make some fairly clear decisions about the nature of relationships early on, then one can argue that studying initial impressions and behavior is important to the study of close relationships.