", "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.
The opposite was found regarding adolescents who did engage in problematic behavior.
Paraprofessionals, specifically one-on-one aides and classroom aides, are often placed with children with autism spectrum disorders in order to facilitate friendships and guide the child in making and maintaining substantial friendships.
Although lessons and training may help peers of children with autism, bullying is still a major concern in social situations.
As family responsibilities and vocational pressures lessen, friendships become more important."The workplace can crackle with competition, so people learn to hide vulnerabilities and quirks from colleagues.Work friendships often take on a transactional feel; it is difficult to say where networking ends and real friendship begins." Older adults continue to report high levels of personal satisfaction in their friendships as they age, and even as the overall number of friends tends to decline.Such characteristics include affection; kindness, love, virtue, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, loyalty, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings to others, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.As children mature, they become less individualized and are more aware of others.