“It is refreshing to see a book such as this which is both broad in its conceptualization of the field of child research and deep in its focus. The volume's editors are paragons of awareness when it comes to the need for interdisciplinary research and theory to illuminate the lives and experience of children.”

James Garbarino, Loyola University Chicago

“Covers a satisfying and unprecedentedly wide range of research relating to childhood. The contributors include many eminent international scholars of childhood, making the book a valuable resource for child researchers. Child advocates will also find the book to be invaluable in their efforts to improve children's well-being, and to change policies and practices for the better.”

Anne Smith, University of Otago

“A really scintillating collection that will provide a lasting perspective on child studies - stimulating and comprehensive!”

Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York

In keeping with global changes in children's social and legal status, this Handbook includes examination of children as family members, friends, learners, consumers, people of faith, and participants in law and politics. The contributors also discuss the methodological and ethical requirements for research that occurs in natural settings and that enables children themselves to describe their perspective.

The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Setting-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part II: Population-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part III: Methods in Research on Children and Childhood

Children as Friends

Children as Friends

Children as friends
Steven R.Asher
Whitney BrechwaldGuerry
Kristina L.McDonald


When two children are friends, they are involved in a close dyadic relationship characterized by a shared history, reciprocal affection, and a recognition by both the child and the friend that the relationship has a special status that sets it apart from mere acquaintanceship or ‘colleagueship’ (Bukowski, Newcomb and Hartup, 1996; Hartup and Stevens, 1997; Newcomb and Bagwell, 1995; Parker and Asher, 1993b). A close friendship is, for many children, the first non-familial intimate relationship that is freely chosen.

Friendships between children have often been contrasted with parent-child relationships by emphasizing the more egalitarian nature of friendships. It is said that, in friendships, children are likely to have similar levels of power. This is in contrast to the ...

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