How Well Preschool Children Know Their Friends

Tory Field, Jennifer Miller, Tiffany M Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To determine how well very young children know their best friends, 16 preschoolers were observed during classroom and playground play and were subsequently interviewed. The child they played with at least 50% of the observation time was considered their best friend. These observations and the teachers’ selections of best friend pairs were used to confirm the children’s verbal interview selections. The children’s interviews focused on naming their best friend, the friend’s physical characteristics and the functions of friends. The best friend choice of 81% of the children was confirmed by at least one other source (teacher, classroom or playground observation). The children were also accurate about several of their best friends’ characteristics including their hair color, relative age and height. The children’s most common reasons for having friends were “for play” and because they “liked” their friends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Preschoolers know friends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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