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Most friendships are formed around pre-school age, and these friendships will have a big impact on their social skills and behaviour. Friends also have a powerful influence on a child’s positive and negative school performance and may also help to encourage, or discourage, deviant behaviours, such as delinquency or drug use. Compared to children who lack friends, children with “good” friends have higher self-esteem. They are less likely to be lonely and act more pro socially. They are able to cope with life stresses and normal transitions and are also less victimized by peers. Interestingly, children with friends of both sexes, as a group, are more well-adjusted and have greater social skills than children who have only same sex friendships.

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