The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in social network development from early to middle childhood and the relation of network characteristics to school competence. Maternal report of 75 children's kin, nonkin adult, and friendship networks were collected at 3, 6, and 9 years of age. Teacher ratings of school competence were obtained at 9 years. While children showed changes in their social networks over time, expected gender differences were not found in the extensive nature of the nonkin network. However, as expected, preference for same-sex friends was noted in early childhood and intensified with age into middle childhood. For girls, but not for boys, social network characteristics were related to teacher ratings of social competence in school.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology