Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Forming, Losing, Renewing, and Replacing Friendships:
Applying Temporal Parameters to the Assessment of Children's Friendship Experience

Parker, J.G., & Seal, J.
Child Development, 67.5 (1996) 2248-2268

Examine friendship formation and dissolution to determine if these events are indicative of differences in the friendship adjustment of children.

216 children (91 girls, 125 boys), primarily white, upper middle class, ages 8-15, attending a 4-week residential camp.

Sociometric rating scale to assess level of acceptance by same gender peers, loneliness questionnaire, behavioral assessments by peers, modified Child Adaptive Behavior Inventory (CABI) completed by counselors, social competence ratings completed by counselors.


  • Subjects averaged more reciprocal friends at the start of camp than in the middle or end.
  • Female subjects friendship network density decreased over time, no relation to age.
  • Male subjects friendship network density increased over time, positive relation to age.
  • Older males and females had more constancy in friendship networks over time.
  • Poorly accepted children had lower extensivity scores, no relation found between acceptance-rejection and formation or durability or friendship.
  • Friendship formation negatively related to loneliness at end of camp.
  • Friendless children rated lower by counselors in social competence.
  • Friendless children rated significantly lower by counselors in intelligence and creativity and rated higher in immaturity. No gender differences found.
  • Differences in formation and duration of friendships associated with other characteristics of the subjects.