Why Preteen Friendships Are Fleeting

Posted on January 18, 2016

There are a lot of changes that occur during middle school, making it hard to maintain friendships. Kids tend to move from one academic track to another, join or leave sports teams, take up new extracurricular hobbies, the opportunities to interact with friends decrease significantly.

Psychologist Brett Laursen conducted a study by tracking 573 seventh-grade two-person friendships until they ended or until 12th grade. It was found that a few important behavioral traits emerged as predictors of friendships that lasted more than a year: popularity, aggression and academic success. Hence, the more similar 2 friends were in these traits, the longer the friendship tended to last.

Friends of the opposite sex are less likely to have long-lasting friendships during this stage. This is due to the fact that adolescents tend to sort themselves based on age, race and gender. For most kids, the end of a friendship means the beginning of a new one.

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Source material from Scientific American

Mental Health News