Gender and age differences in Brazilian children's friendship nominations and peer sociometric ratings

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Koller S
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2004
Volume number: 51
Issue number: 3-4
Start page: 217
End page: 225
Number of pages: 9
ISSN: 0360-0025
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


The purpose of this study was to examine gender- and age-related
patterns of friendship preferences among Brazilian children. In
particular, we examined: (a) children's same-sex friendship preference,
and its greater intensity among older children; (b) higher exclusivity
among girls and higher inclusiveness among boys; and (c) generally
higher exclusivity and inclusiveness among older children. Participants
were 210 (110 boys, 100 girls) public school students from Brazil who
ranged in age from 3.0 to 10.5 years of age. Children were asked to
nominate their best friends and to rate how much they liked and disliked
each of their other classmates. Children generally nominated more of
same-sex peers as best friends and gave more negative ratings to their
cross-sex peers. These same-sex preferences were more intense at the
older age groups. Girls and older children gave more negative peer
ratings and nominated fewer best friends than boys and younger children.
However, the oldest age group gave significantly fewer negative peer
ratings than did the younger groups - both in their same-sex and overall
negative peer ratings. Results are generally consistent with patterns
found in prior studies with children from the United States, but unique
gender and age-related patterns also emerged.


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