Friends serve central functions for children that parents do not, and they play a critical role in shaping children's social skills and their sense of identity. . . . The difference between a child with close friendships and a child who wants to make friends but is unable to can be the difference between a child who is happy and a child who is distressed in one large area of life.

Friends serve central functions for children that parents do not, and they play a critical role in shaping children's social skills and their sense of identity. . . . The difference between a child with close friendships and a child who wants to make friends but is unable to can be the difference between a child who is happy and a child who is distressed in one large area of life.