Document Type



This qualitative study examines the manner in which second grade girls engage, develop, maintain, and assess relationships with peers. Grounded theory methodology was employed to collect and analyze data. The study makes three claims: the institutional structure of the school impacted the development of friendships between and among second grade girls, the behavior patterns and common characteristics shared by seven and eight year old girls during the development of friendships were deliberate, and seven and eight year old girls used their common interests to include and exclude members in their group. Discussion of the third claim explores parallels between the behaviors practiced by the second grade girls in non-threatening manners and those behaviors used by their adolescent counterparts during female bullying.