Boys develop social skills through kindergarten friendshipsNovember 30th, 2011 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Nov 30 (IANS) High-quality friendships in kindergarten spell better social skills in the first and third grades for boys and also fewer behaviour problems as compared to girls.
“The findings for girls were different,” said Jennifer Engle, who co-authored the study with Nancy McElwain, professor of human development at the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
“Overall, teachers reported that girls in the first and third grade had good social skills, regardless of the quality of their kindergarten friendships,” said Engle, the journal Infant and Child Development reports.
“Boys, on the other hand, clearly benefited from the good start that early high-quality friendships provide,” added Engle, according to an Illinois statement.
The differences in friendship quality for boys versus girls did not show up until the children were older, she said.
“Boys who had no friends in kindergarten had more behaviour problems, but not until they had reached first and third grades,” Engle said.
The researchers examined data from 567 children who had participated in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study of early child care and youth development.
“As we expected, high-quality kindergarten friendships that featured cooperation and sharing, taking turns, low levels of hostility, and little destructive conflict, gave children, especially boys, practice in positive interaction, which they demonstrated in grades one and three,” Engle said.
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