The best friendships of shy/withdrawn children

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Childcare, Day Care & Education

With the start of a new school year, children are often apprehensive about the first day. Will they make new friends? Are they too shy to enter into games with others. A study in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology looked at the relationships of shy/withdrawn children and control children by examining the mutual best friendships for prevalence, stability, best friend's characteristics, and friendship quality. Using peer nominations of shy/socially withdrawn and aggressive behaviors, two groups of children were identified from a normative sample of fifth-grade children: shy/withdrawn and control. Friendship nominations, teacher reports, and friendship quality data were gathered. The results revealed that shy/withdrawn children were as likely as control children to have mutual stable best friendships. However, withdrawn children's friends were more withdrawn and victimized than were the control children's best friends; furthermore, similarities in social withdrawal and peer victimization were revealed for withdrawn children and their friends. Withdrawn children and their friends reported lower friendship quality than did control children.

The study suggests that being shy or withdrawn has many disadvantages for children. Do any of you have any ideas about increasing the interactions of these kids? Any ideas on changing the pattern of behavior?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.