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Ralph Waldo Emerson nicely articulated the reciprocal nature of friendships when he stated, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Friendships are defined as close relationships between two individuals that involve mutual attraction and reciprocity of social exchanges. Characteristics often associated with friendships include trust, respect, admiration, acceptance, social support, and shared common interests. Within the disciplines of social science, friendship information is usually determined by mutual peer nominations (i.e., whether two children indicate one another as friends). Friendships should not be confused with related, but separate constructs including social status and peer reputation. The former refers to the child's likeability within the peer group; and the latter to the child's particular, salient behavioral characteristics as seen by peers. In addition, ...

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