Small group therapy and preadolescent same-sex friendship

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On the rationale that group psychotherapy focuses on interaction processes in close relationships, our study sought to investigate the hypothesis that small group therapy would be effective in enhancing intimate friendship in a dyadic relationship. The study group consisted of 102 elementary school students who had been referred for counseling help. Matched by age, sex, and similarity of problem, each pair of students was divided into an experimental group (N = 55) and a control group (N = 47). The experimental group contained eight small treatment groups and the control group contained seven matching small groups, leaving one special education group with no control. The results support our hypothesis that group psychotherapy positively affects intimate friendship of girls and boys. They further suggest the boys' need for such an experience, since without it they markedly deteriorate in intimate friendship. Implications for the group leader are derived from the correlations between gains in intimate friendship and group intimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-243
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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