Perceptions of the Peer Group and Friendship in Early Adolescence

Lisa Crockett, Mike Losoff, Anne C. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Perceptions of peer relationships were assessed in a sample of 335 boys and girls followed longitudinally from sixth through eighth grade. Semiannual interviews provided data on perceptions of the school peer group and individual friendships. As anticipated, the clique, or friendship group was found to be an important feature of the peer group, and both the importance attributed to cliques and positive attitudes towards cliques increased over time. Boys and girls considered the same qualities to be important for success in the peer group, although the relative importance attributed to these qualities differed by sex. Daily friendship interactions were found to take up a substantial portion of the adolescents' free time. Some aspects of intimacy were reported in same-sex friendships, particularly among girls. In most cases, however, this closeness did not replace closeness to parents. Intimacy in cross-sex friendships was rarely reported, but interest in the other sex and heterosocial interaction increased over the period studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-181
Number of pages27
JournalThe Journal of Early Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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