Friendships of children and adolescents with spina bifida: social adjustment, social performance, and social skills.
ABSTRACT: To characterize dyadic and general friendships of youth with spina bifida (SB).Families of youth with SB recruited a peer to participate; 106 dyads participated. Youth with SB and peers completed questionnaires and interviews regarding characteristics of the dyadic friendship and each individual's general friendships.Youth with SB and their peers were similar in many ways. However, youth with SB rated the friendship as closer and were more likely to see peers as best friends rather than the reverse. Regarding general friendships, youth with SB spent fewer days with friends, reported lower levels of companionship, security, and closeness in their friendships, and reported lower levels of emotional support from peers and family.Youth with SB experience significant differences in the quality and reciprocation of friendships. Targeted interventions may assist youth in developing high quality friendships.
Project description:This study examines the social integration of adolescent immigrants by directly analyzing the composition of their friendship networks. Using statistical network analysis, I first consider whether adolescents are more likely to befriend peers who share their immigrant generation status in a large, diverse sample of 7th through 12th graders from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 67,586). Next, I test whether having a higher proportion of same-generation friends can protect immigrant youth from experiencing negative health outcomes and adopting risky behaviors. Results indicate that adolescents are more likely to form friendships with peers who share their immigrant generation status and that this tendency is particularly strong for first-generation immigrants. Furthermore, immigrant youth with greater proportions of same-generation friends are less likely to report several negative health behaviors and outcomes. My findings suggest that same-generation friendships can serve as a protective mechanism for immigrant youth, which may help explain the existence of an immigrant health paradox.
Project description:Homophobic attitudes and behavior are a widespread problem among adolescents, but what the role of peer relationships such as friendships and antipathies is in shaping these attitudes remains unclear. Therefore, this study examined to what extent homophobic attitudes are influenced by friends' and foes' homophobic attitudes, and whether homophobic attitudes serve as a selection criterion for the formation of friendships and antipathies. Participants came from three Dutch high schools across two waves (wave 1 November 2014, wave 2 March/April 2015, ages 11-20, N?=?1935, 51.5% girls). Stochastic actor-oriented models were estimated for testing hypotheses. The results showed that adolescents adjusted their homophobic attitudes to their friends' homophobic attitudes, but homophobic attitudes were not consistently related to friendship selection. Further, findings indicated that being dissimilar in homophobic attitudes increased the likelihood to dislike cross-sex peers. Together, the findings suggest that adolescents' homophobic attitudes were to some extent subject to peer influence, but homophobic attitudes did not steer who adolescents befriended or disliked.
Project description:In this study, we examined the dynamics of the perception of "dislike" ties (reputational dislike) among adolescents within the contexts of friendship, perceived popularity, substance use, and Facebook use. Survey data were collected from a longitudinal sample of 238 adolescents from the 11th and 12th grades in one California high school. We estimated stochastic actor-based network dynamic models, using reports of reputational dislike, friendships, and perceived popularity, to identify factors associated with the maintenance and generation reputational dislike ties. The results showed that high-status adolescents and more frequent Facebook users tended to become perceived as or stay disliked by their peers over time. There was a tendency for friendships to promote the creation and maintenance of reputational disliking but not vice versa. Adolescents tended to perceive others as disliked when their friends also perceived them as disliked. There was no evidence that either cigarette smoking or drinking alcohol affected reputational dislike dynamics. This study highlights the important role that the hierarchical peer system, online peer context, and friendships play in driving information diffusion of negative peer relations among adolescents.
Project description:Close associations between adult males and lactating females and their dependent infants are not commonly described in non-monogamous mammals. However, such associations [sometimes called "friendships" (Smuts 1985)] are regularly observed in several primate species in which females mate with multiple males during the fertile period. The absence of mating exclusivity among "friends" suggests that males should invest little in infant care, raising questions about the adaptive significance of friendship bonds. Using data from genetic paternity analyses, patterns of behavior, and long-term demographic and reproductive records, we evaluated the extent to which friendships in four multi-male, multi-female yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) groups in Amboseli, Kenya represent joint parental care of offspring or male mating effort. We found evidence that mothers and infants benefited directly from friendships; friendships provided mother-infant dyads protection from harassment from other adult and immature females. In addition, nearly half of all male friends were the genetic fathers of offspring and had been observed mating with mothers during the days of most likely conception for those offspring. In contrast, nearly all friends who were not fathers were also not observed to consort with the mother during the days of most likely conception, suggesting that friendships between mothers and non-fathers did not result from paternity confusion. Finally, we found no evidence that prior friendship increased a male's chances of mating with a female in future reproductive cycles. Our results suggest that, for many male-female pairs at Amboseli, friendships represented a form of biparental care of offspring. Males in the remaining friendship dyads may be trading protection of infants in exchange for some resources or services not yet identified. Our study is the first to find evidence that female primates gain social benefits from their early associations with adult males.
Project description:This study examined cross-ethnic friendship choices and intergroup attitudes in a sample of 762 sixth-grade Asian American students (Mage = 11.5 years) attending 1 of 19 middle schools that varied in ethnic composition. Multiple measures of friendship (quantity and quality) and intergroup attitudes (affective, cognitive, behavioral) toward White, Latino, and Black grademates were assessed. The results showed that Asian American students overnominated White students and undernominated Latino and Black students as their friends when school availability of each ethnic group was accounted for. Cross-ethnic friendships were related to better intergroup attitudes, especially the behavioral dimension of attitudes. Cross-ethnic friendships were least likely to change attitudes toward Blacks. Implications for future research, educational practice, and attitude intervention programs were discussed.
Project description:Emotions are embedded in culture and play a pivotal role in making friends and interacting with peers. To support the social participation of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) it is essential to understand their emotional life in the context of ethnic and school cultures. We are particularly interested in how anxiety and loneliness are experienced in developing and maintaining friendships in the daily encounters of adolescents with ASD in the specific context of Japanese schools, because these emotions could serve either as facilitators or barriers to social interaction, depending on how individuals manage them. The present qualitative study investigated perceptions of emotions related to friendship in the everyday school life of 11 adolescents with ASD in Japan. Data were collected by means of semi-structured individual interviews, which revealed a wide range of motivations for socialization, limited future prospects to deepen friendships, robust self-awareness of one's own social challenges, and conscious efforts to cope with these challenges. An inductive approach to data analysis resulted in four themes: social motivation, loneliness, anxiety, and distress. To our knowledge this is the first study to uncover the rich emotional life of adolescents with ASD in the context of their friendships in an Asian culture.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Brain tumors during childhood may disrupt the development and maintenance of friendships due to the impact of disease- and treatment-related factors on functioning. The goal of this study was to determine if children treated for either a brain tumor or a non-central nervous system (CNS) solid tumor could name a friend and to evaluate the social information processes associated with the ability to name a friend.<h4>Method</h4>Youth (ages 7-14) treated for either a brain tumor (n?=?47; mean age = 10.51?years) or a non-CNS solid tumor (n?=?34; mean age = 11.29) completed an assessment within 6?months of the conclusion of treatment that included asking participants to name a friend and completing measures of social information processing (SIP). Rates of self-reported friendship were compared between groups and correlates of being able to name a friend were evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>Youth treated for a brain tumor (61.7%) were significantly less likely to name a friend compared with youth treated for a non-CNS solid tumor (85.3%). Diagnosis type (brain vs. non-CNS), relapse status, attribution style, and facial affect recognition were significant predictors of being able to name a friend or not in a logistic regression model.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Youth treated for a brain tumor and those who experienced a disease relapse are at risk for impairments in friendships; difficulties with SIP may increase this risk. Targeted screening and intervention efforts for children diagnosed with brain tumors and those who have relapsed could address difficulties with peers.
Project description:Complex societies are shaped by social relationships between multiple individuals. The pressure to track these relationships has driven the evolution of social cognition in primates. Importantly, it can be adaptive to track not only personal relationships, but also those established between third-parties. Primates have knowledge about others' dominance hierarchies and kinship, but we do not know to what extent they also understand friendships. In a playback experiment, Tonkean macaques were presented with simulated conflicts involving third-party female dyads who were established friends or non-friends. Hearing a conflict between friends elicited a stronger behavioural response in listeners (i.e. an increase in looking time) compared to hearing a conflict between non-friends. Conflicts between friends are likely to represent a greater disruption of the social group and structure of the network, and therefore this difference in response may represent an adaptive strategy employed by the macaques to selectively monitor important social interactions in the group. These findings provide evidence that Tonkean macaques (and potentially other primates) can classify the relationships of others based on their degree of friendship and additionally, confirms the important role friendships have within the societies of social primates.
Project description:Informal social relations, such as friendships, are crucial for the well-being and success of students at all levels of education. Network interventions can aim at providing contact opportunities in school settings to prevent the social isolation of individuals and facilitate integration between otherwise segregated social groups. We investigate the short-term and long-term effects of one specific network intervention in an undergraduate cohort freshly admitted to an engineering department ([Formula: see text]). In this intervention, we randomly assigned students into small groups at an introduction event two months prior to their first day at university. The groups were designed to increase mixed-gender contact opportunities. Two months after the intervention, we find a higher rate of friendships, common friends, and mixed-gender friendships in pairs of students who were assigned to the same group than in pairs from different groups (short-term effects). These effects gradually diminish over the first academic year (long-term effects). Using stochastic actor-oriented models, we investigate the long-term trajectory of the intervention effects, while considering alternative network processes, such as reciprocity, transitivity, homophily, and popularity. The results suggest that even though the induced friendship ties are less stable than other friendships, they may serve as early seeds for complex social network processes. Our study shows that simple network interventions can have a pronounced short-term effect and indirect long-term effects on the evolution and structure of student communities.
Project description:This study examined parental relationship quality, friendship quality, and depression as mediators of the association between child maltreatment (CM) and adolescent suicidal ideation (SI). Participants were 674 adolescents (46% female; 55% African American) involved in the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). Data were collected via youth self-report at ages 12, 16, and 18. CM before age 12 predicted poor parental relationships and depression, but not poor friendships, at age 16. Age 16 depression was negatively associated with parental relationship quality and positively associated with SI at age 18. An indirect path from CM to SI via depression was significant, suggesting that the early CM affects depression severity, which in turn is associated with SI. Strong friendship quality (age 16) was associated with SI at age 18; however, there was no significant indirect path from CM to SI via friendships. Results suggest that: 1) CM before age 12 affects parental relationships in adolescence; 2) depression and friendships are related to suicide ideation in later adolescence; and 3) depression partially mediates the association between CM and SI. Results highlight the importance of assessing for a history of CM, quality of interpersonal relationships, and depression severity among youth reporting SI.