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Defining and documenting cross-SES friendships among kindergarten students


For decades, social scientists have investigated how children make friends across social group divides (Graham, Taylor, & Ho, 2009; Howes, 2009). These studies have mostly defined cross friendships as those friendships that bridge gender, race, and ethnic differences. In the current study, I extend this paradigm and investigate friendships across socioeconomic lines. I document the methodological challenges posed by defining cross-socioeconomic status (SES) friendships while analyzing sociometric ratings nominations. Results indicate that overall children at this age do not form friendships based on their SES background. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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