ITP | Making “Fast Friends” during Childhood and Adolescence:  Examining Online and School Contexts

March 15, 2024, Noon-1:30 pm Central Time

259 Educational Sciences and Zoom

Kat Swerbenski

Graduate Student, Psychology, UW–Madison

Kat Swerbenski

Close peer relationships are critical to children's and adolescents’ healthy development and well-being, yet youth sometimes struggle to make friends. This work tested whether an online version of the Fast Friends procedure could engender closeness among 9- to 13-year-old youth. Participant dyads were randomly assigned to answer personal questions that encourage self-disclosure and play a collaborative game (Fast Friends condition) or to engage in similar activities without self-disclosure or collaboration (control condition). To build on this research, we are working on adapting the procedure to help students form close peer relationships during school transitions, which is a time in which students’ social networks are typically disrupted, which can result in students feeling a diminished sense of social support.

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