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Children’s Friendships and Positive Well-Being

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Friendship and Happiness

Abstract

Children’s friendships are closely associated with children’s positive well-being. Children who enjoy close friendships are more likely to experience higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction and self-esteem and less likely to be lonely, depressed or victimized. Friendships during childhood are predictive of greater self worth and coping skills later in life but the direction of the relationship between children’s well-being and their friendships (i.e., whether well-being is a cause or consequence of friendships) is not firmly established. Though the study of the links between children’s happiness and friendships is relatively sparse, recent developments in measures of children’s well-being are encouraging. This is important because the relationship between friendships and well-being may be different for children compared to adults and adolescents for reasons such as children do not typically have mature romantic relationships but they do experience friendships with imaginary companions. Given the unique importance of children’s friendships in understanding and promoting children’s happiness, we outline several considerations for future studies in this promising area of research.

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Correspondence to Mark D. Holder .

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Holder, M., Coleman, B. (2015). Children’s Friendships and Positive Well-Being. In: Demir, M. (eds) Friendship and Happiness. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9603-3_5

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