FRIENDSHIP PROFILES IN SCHOOL CLASSES
Relationships between peers are extremely important in school, and the lack of friendship relationships or long-term difficulties in those relationships, alongside many other, may be reflected in a pupil's success, mastering of new subject matter, and result in a negative emotional reaction. The quality and quantity of their friends affect the pupils’ self-image, their self-perception, social status and success. Peer relationships with classmates may be diagnosed using the dimension of acceptance and rejection and using the dimensions of popularity and friendship. The authors of this study studied the dimension of friendship in the category of "best friend", in order to establish the variables which affect the choice of best friend. They defined the friendship relationship as a specific, mutual and two-way relationship between pupils, which is a reflection of the relationship between individuals, expressed in closeness and security. The aim of the empirical part of the study was to establish the profile of friendship relationships within a class, in the category of "best friend" formulated in the main research question as: "What is the profile of friendship relationships in the category of best friend?" The reply to the research question was considered through the variables of assessment of the number of friends, the ease/difficulty of choice of best friend, age and differences in age, the duration of friendships, experience of breaking up with a best friend, and establishing the causes. The participants in the research were elementary school pupils. The empirical part of the study was based on a qualitative methodology, and the instrument was an interview structured as replies to the survey questions asked. The results of the research indicate the difficulties pupils have in determining the number of friends, which is mainly between 10 and 20, the ease of choice of a best friend, the formation of same-sex friends in ten-year-olds, the preference for friends of the same age, and the class as a significant factor, where the first long-term best friends are acquired.
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