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Child Dev. 1997 Dec;68(6):1181-97.

Classroom peer acceptance, friendship, and victimization: distinct relational systems that contribute uniquely to children's school adjustment?

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University of Illinois, Children's Research Center, Champaign 61820, USA.


The proposition that relationships make differential (i.e., unique, redundant, contingent) contributions to adjustment was examined by investigating the linkages between children's participation in different types of peer relationships (i.e., friendship, peer acceptance, peer victimization) and their adjustment to school. Relationship measures were gathered for 5- to 6-year-old children (105 males, 95 females) twice during kindergarten (i.e., fall and spring) and were correlated with adjustment indicators at each time of assessment and used to predict changes in school adjustment over time. Examination of the relative associations between the relationship measures and children's adjustment revealed evidence of both unshared (i.e., unique) and shared (i.e., redundant) linkages, depending on the form of adjustment examined. These findings suggest that adjustment may be influenced by the diverse experiences (i.e., provisions) that children encounter in different forms of relationship, and that certain types of relationships may have greater or lesser adaptive significance depending on the adjustment outcome examined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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