Children’s peer relationships are crucial for their social-emotional development, mental and physical health. To identify effective strategies to facilitate peer relationships among 8–14-year-olds, a systematic review of intervention programs was conducted. Electronic databases ERIC, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Collection Library and grey literature sources were searched for intervention studies with general or clinical populations published between 2000 and 2020. Interventions had to assess quantity or quality of peer relationships as an outcome measure, thus focusing on helping children to establish more positive relationships or improving their self-reported relationship quality. Sixty-five papers were identified and grouped into universal prevention programs, selective interventions for typically developing children and indicated interventions for children with clinical diagnosis. Prevention programs and interventions for typically developing children facilitated peer relationships by targeting mental wellbeing and self-concepts. Clinical interventions focused on social-emotional skills, symptoms and peer behaviors. Successful programs showed a close alignment of methods and targeted program effects. Practitioners should also be aware of realistic goals for each population. Programs for a general population showed potential to decrease loneliness, whereas clinical populations achieved high increases in play dates, peer acceptance and sociometric status.
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
- Pädiatrie, Perinatalogie und Gesundheitsvorsorge bei Kindern
- Pädagogische und Entwicklungspsychologie
- Sozialwissenschaften (sonstige)
- Psychiatrie und psychische Gesundheit