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  • Publication
    Peer relationships across the preschool to school transition
    (Routledge, 2010-11) ;
    Research Findings: The aim of this longitudinal study was to explore peer relationships across the transition from preschool to school. Participants were 35 (17 male) children attending the Irish preschool initiative Early Start (M age = 49.31 months). Sociometric measures were employed on two occasions; at the end of preschool and in the first year of school. Results indicated that most preschoolers (83%) had at least one mutual friend and by school age, all children had at least one mutual friend. Almost one third (29%) of preschools and school age children had a mutual best friend. Notably, all children made new friends in school. In addition, a number of friendships (18%) survived the preschool to school transition. Correlational analysis also suggests some stability in peer relationships from preschool into the first year of school. Exploratory multiple regression analyses observed that preschool peer variables predicted friendship status and social preference in school. Furthermore, best friendship in preschool uniquely predicted friendship in school, and best friend status in school was uniquely associated with social preference in school . Practice: Results have implications for parents’ and early educators’ promotion of children’s friendships during the transition from preschool to school.
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