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Cliques and Social Groups

As soon as children begin to walk, and often before, they take special interest in other children of their own age. Later, formal education is organized in a way so that students spend much time with one another. In adulthood, work settings are often organized to foster the development of collegial relationships, and in old age, people typically remain members of social networks that tend to include multiple generations.

Across their entire lifespan, people form and maintain social relationships, and often, relationship partners are interconnected themselves. Such groups are typically referred to as cliques. This entry outlines the characteristics of cliques and clique-like groups across the lifespan, their developmental functions, and the associated measurement and analysis issues. A central theme is the notion that clique ...

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