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Child Dev. 1998 Feb;69(1):154-63.

Developmental patterns and gender differences in the experience of peer companionship during adolescence.

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Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, IL 60626, USA.


Adolescents in fifth through eighth grade (N = 218) carried electronic pagers for 1 week and completed self-report forms in response to signals received at random times. Four years later, the sample underwent the same procedure. Results indicate that thinking about the opposite sex occurs at an earlier age than spending time with the opposite sex alone and that both increase over time. Results also indicate little change in same-sex companionship over time. Girls spent more time with the opposite sex and spent more time thinking about opposite- and same-sex peers. Time with the opposite sex alone was experienced as very positive, whereas time spent thinking about the opposite sex was associated with less positive states as adolescents became older.

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