Good Friendships among Children: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation

David Ian Walker, Randall Curren, Chantel Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
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Ethical dimensions of friendship have rarely been explicitly addressed as aspects of friendship quality in studies of children's peer relationships. This study identifies aspects of moral virtue significant for friendship, as a basis for empirically investigating the role of ethical qualities in children's friendship assessments and aspirations. We introduce a eudaimonic conception of friendship quality, identify aspects of moral virtue foundational to such quality, review and contest some grounds on which children have been regarded as not mature enough to have friendships that require virtue, and report a qualitative study of the friendship assessments and aspirations of children aged nine and ten (n = 83). In focus group sessions conducted in ten schools across Great Britain, moral qualities figured prominently in children's assessments of friendship quality. The findings provide evidence of children having friendships exhibiting mutual respect, support, and valuing of each other's good character.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-309
JournalJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Issue number3
Early online date9 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


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