Friendships in children's communities

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


In their pursuit of social independence from their parents and families, it is friends with whom children attempt to develop their first community relationships. Friendships are part of their social worlds and friendship groups are some of the communities that dominate children’s daily lives. Friendships mark the beginnings of social intimacy, social understanding (Dunn, 2006) and they are significant in children developing social and emotional competencies which are the foundations of building a community. This chapter: • explains the significance of young children having friends • examines how young children make friends and what influences the formation of friendships • identify the social competence required to keep friends • suggests the need to adopt a socially attuned pedagogical approach that provides spaces for children’s friendship communities to flourish. The chapter will conclude with reiterating that experiencing friendships ‘involves the wholeness of human existence’ (Papadopoulou, 2016:1545) and that they are significant in children’s lives. Therefore, children deserve the attention of caring adults who adopt a socially attuned and respectful approach that Carter and Nutbrown (2016) call ‘the pedagogy of friendship’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung Children and Their Communities
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding Collective Social Responsibility
EditorsGillian Sykes, Eleonora Teszenyi
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315151342
ISBN (Print)9781138558502, 9781138558526
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • Friendships
  • Children
  • Communities
  • Children's communities
  • Young children


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