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They gain the ability to empathize with their friends, and enjoy playing in groups.They also experience peer rejection as they move through the middle childhood years.", "By the Rules", "Caring and Sharing", and "Friends Through Thick and Thin." In adolescence, friendships become "more giving, sharing, frank, supportive, and spontaneous." Adolescents tend to seek out peers who can provide such qualities in a reciprocal relationship, and to avoid peers whose problematic behavior suggest they may not be able to satisfy these needs.A study performed at the University of Texas at Austin examined over 9,000 American adolescents to determine how their engagement in problematic behavior (such as stealing, fighting, and truancy) was related to their friendships.Additionally, older adults in declining health who remain in contact with friends show improved psychological well-being.Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have difficulty forming and maintaining friendships, due to a limited ability to build social skills through observational learning, difficulties attending to social cues, and because of the social impacts of impulsive behavior and a greater tendency to engage in behavior that may be seen as disruptive by their peers.Findings indicated that adolescents were less likely to engage in problem behavior when their friends did well in school, participated in school activities, avoided drinking, and had good mental health.
Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of such bonds.
According to Anahad O'Connor of The New York Times, bullying is most likely to occur against autistic children who have the most potential to live independently, such as those with Asperger syndrome.
Such children are more at risk because they have as many of the rituals and lack of social skills as children with full autism, but they are more likely to be mainstreamed in school, since they are on the higher-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
A sense of parental attachment aids in the quality of friendships in children with autism spectrum disorders; a sense of attachment with one's parents compensates for a lack of social skills that would usually inhibit friendships.
Along with parental intervention, school professionals play an important role in teaching social skills and peer interaction.
This satisfaction is associated with an increased ability to accomplish activities of daily living, as well as a reduced decline in cognitive abilities, decreased instances of hospitalization, and better outcomes related to rehabilitation.