The need for friendship is elementary

Published: November 11, 2007 | Last Updated: November 11, 2007 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading

Transitioning from one school to another is always
nerve-wracking for children and their parents but friendships can help ease the
way. A new study of 600 children and 80 parents in the UK suggests
that children who are separated from their friends as they move from elementary
to secondary schools are “inherently more vulnerable.” These children are more likely
to lose solid friendships and feel less confident, and are more prone to


However, when children move with siblings or with other
friends, their transition is made easier because friends and siblings provide social
support and “insider information” that helps them better navigate new waters. The
four-year project conducted by Dr. Susie Weller and Irene Bruegel from London South
Bank University

was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


According to a press release from the Council, the benefits of childhood
friendships are too often overlooked or placed in a negative light. “They [social
theorists] have focused on the ‘youth problem’ – describing peer group
interaction as having a negative affect on educational attainment and
associated with destructive activities such as membership of a gang,” said Dr.
Weller. "This often means that relationships such as friendship are
sidelined, and little attention has been given to the positive and constructive
resources and experiences such networks can provide."


Thanks to Sophia Casey, Age 9, for the beautiful picture of Best Friends. 


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Comments (2)

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  1. Irene says:

    Would you be willing to share your picture on my blog?

    If so, email it to me at [email protected]


  2. Anonymous says:

    I have a pciture (a photograph) of my two best friends from high school that looks JUST LIKE Sophie’s picture–we’re lying in the grass on a hill at the park and one of us must have held up the camera and shot it vertically.

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