Interpersonal connections with peers of the opposite sex that are based on the quantity and quality of mutual respect, appreciation, and liking.
Research clearly demonstrates the benefits of positive peer relationships for children’s development (Martin and Dowson 2009). Findings show that children who have positive relationships with peers tend to be higher in academic outcomes (e.g., Martin et al. 2009) and personal well-being (e.g., Liem and Martin 2011). Research also shows that opposite-sex and same-sex peer relationships both positively impact children’s development, but often in distinct ways (Liem and Martin 2011). Evolutionary psychology helps shed light on how peer relationships function in children’s lives as well as some of the distinctive ways opposite-sex and same-sex peer relationships impact development. With a focus on opposite-sex peer...
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