When this book was first published in 1978, it was only recently that researchers had begun to focus on children's peer relationships and the impact of these relationships on their development. The contributors to this volume view friendship as an important context for the study of a variety of cognitive and affective processes - from the perspectives of a wide range of disciplines. The volume poses an array of fascinating theoretical questions, and offers varied methodological tools for answering them. Some contributors present and review applied research addressed to conceptualizing and ameliorating peer relationship problems, whilst others reflect applied or policy-orientated concerns in chapters on racial integration and the integration of mentally retarded children into regular classrooms. A chapter on the scientific, political and social history of the interest in children's friendships and two summary chapters add to the usefulness of the book for students.