Getting along well with peers and obtaining supportive friendships are critical to positive youth development. Child Trends' latest brief, Assessing Peer Relations: A Guide for Out-of-School Time Program Practitioners, describes factors that promote positive peer relations; provides information about easy-to-use measures for assessing peer relations (both positive and problematic); and lists several resources for promoting positive peer relations in childhood and adolescence.
Most children enjoy healthy relationships with their peers, however, some are disliked, excluded, and/or bullied by others and are more likely to experience academic, social, and behavioral problems. Positive peer relationships are formed through the practice of various social and emotional skills, including:
· Cooperative interaction and communication skills
· Emotional understanding and self regulation skills
· Social problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
Various aspects of peer relations can be assessed by asking peers, teachers, or other mentors several questions. Sample assessment options are included in the brief.
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