Thesis Title

A Study of Friendship Attitudes of Children Who Participate in Gifted Programs in the Public Schools

Date of Graduation

Summer 1985


Master of Science in Education in Elementary Education


Childhood Education and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Darrell Roubinek

Subject Categories

Elementary Education and Teaching


This study was undertaken to describe the friendship attitudes of children in Grades 4, 5, and 6 who participate in gifted programs in the public schools in Missouri. A self-made, self-report instrument was completed by 211 students in twelve public school districts. Analysis was based on written responses and tabulation in percentages and means of objective items. The results indicate that friendship is one of several important issues in the gifted child's life. The students recognize the need for friendship and identify these needs. Freindship was found to serve designated functions for some students. Gifted students often indicated that other aspect of their lives were valued more than friendships. Tendencies toward isolation were more apparent among boys as was the need for solitude, but boys indicated that members of their families were congenial companions. The girl's need for friendship causes more conformity at an earlier age. The boys experienced more negative attitudes and pressure from peers but appear to be able to withstand it better. The study indicates that fourth graders base their friendship attitudes on approved classroom behaviors, fifth graders had more possessive attitudes toward a few friends, and sixth graders were interested in becoming more like their peer groups. This desire to fit in often conflicts with the need to be individuals.


© Barbara J Nichols