What we wanted to know

  • How important are friendships to children and young people?
  • What are the benefits of having friends? Are there any disadvantages to having friends? What are the effects of being excluded from friendships?
  • Do all young people have equal opportunities to have friends? If not, what are the reasons for this? What kinds of characteristics are valued by young people in their friends?
  • What help do adults (parents, adults in schools, adults who help with extra-curricular groups) offer around friendships? How helpful is this help? Is there anything that adults do which contributes to the exclusion of young people from friendships?
  • Do young people have similar experiences of friendship during school and leisure, or are there differences? What are the reasons for these differences?