From early childhood to old age, all humans engage in relationships with peers. Peers are defined as people who are equal with respect to age, education, social class, and economic level. Although by definition peers include spouses and siblings who are close in age, research on peers has focused on individuals’ relationships and interactions with peers outside the family. Perhaps second only to the family, peers play a key role in human socialization and affect individuals’ well-being and across the life span. Most of the research on peers has been focused on three distinct but overlapping areas: peer interaction, peer relationships, and peer groups. Peer interaction refers to social exchanges between peers; peer relationships refers to relationships that persist over time between two individuals; and ...

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