Are We Good Friends? – Friendship Preferences and the Quantity and Quality of Mutual Friendships

Lisa Hoffmann, Jürgen Wilbert, Mike Lehofer, Susanne Schwab

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

Empirical studies already examined various facets of the friendship construct. Building on this, the present study examines the questions of how the number of friendships and their quality differ between students with and without SEN and whether a homophily-effect can be identified. The sample consists of 455 fourth-graders from 28 inclusive classes in Austria. The results indicate that students with SEN have fewer friends than students without SEN. Furthermore, students without SEN preferred peers without SEN as a friend. This homophily-effect was shown for students with SEN, too. However, students with and without SEN rated the quality of their friendships similarly and no interactions between the SEN status of oneself or of the friend was found for the quality of the friendship. The results show that, in the context of inclusion, the issue of friendship needs to be increasingly addressed to improve the situation of students with SEN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-516
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503034 Inclusive education

Keywords

  • CHILDREN
  • DIMENSIONS
  • INCLUSION
  • OUTCOMES
  • PUPILS
  • SCHOOLS
  • SOCIAL-PARTICIPATION
  • SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL-NEEDS
  • STABILITY
  • STUDENTS
  • Social participation
  • friendship
  • homophily
  • quality of friendship
  • sociometric nomination

Cite this