The transition from middle childhood to early adolescence: Sex differences in the social network and perceived self-competence

Candice Feiring, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study concerns the development of social networks from middle childhood to early adolescence. On a longitudinal sample of 100 children seen at 9 and 13 years of age, three basic questions were addressed: 1) age changes, 2) sex differences, and 3) the relation between network characteristics and self-perceived competence in early adolescence. The number of and frequency of contact with kin, adults and friends for each subject were assessed at 9 and 13 years using maternal report. Teenager report of academic, social, athletic and behavioral conduct was also collected. The transition to early adolescence was marked by several changes in the social network. At 13 years networks become more age segregated. Both opposite and same sex friends show an increase. Sex differences were also evident. For example, adolescent girls had a larger network of friends than boys. Adolescent boys had less segregated adult networks. For adolescent girls but not boys, the friendship network was related to specific types of competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-509
Number of pages21
JournalSex Roles
Volume24
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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