The Relation of Reciprocated and Nonreciprocated Friendship Nominations to Peer Social Competence for Chinese Elementary School Children


The authors examined associations between different forms of children’s friendship nomination reciprocity (mutual, unilateral given, unilateral received) and other measures of children’s peer social competence (liking, loneliness, overt aggression, perceived popularity) for 501 Chinese third- to sixth-grade students. Using a multigroup path analysis (with gender as group), for both boys and girls, all three forms of friendship nominations were negatively related to self-reported loneliness. Mutual friendship nominations and unilateral received friendship nominations were positively related to peer nominations for liking and to peer nominations of perceived popularity. The path between unilateral received friendship nominations and perceived popularity was higher for boys than for girls. Also, for boys only, mutual friendship nominations and unilateral received friendship nominations were each negatively related to peer nominations of overt aggression. These patterns are somewhat different from research examining the association of forms of friendships to peer social competence for children in Western cultures. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of the relation of different forms of friendship nominations to children’s peer social competence as well as the broad association of culture for these relations.

Publication Title

Journal of Genetic Psychology