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Youth & Society


Ugandan adolescents (n = 202, 54% girls; Mage = 14.26) answered closed- and open-ended questions about the gender composition of friends and attitudes about, and activities with, same- and other-gender peers and friends. Adolescents’ friendships were somewhat gender segregated, although other-gender friendships were present. Positive attitudes about same- and other-gender peers and friends were prevalent. Girls and boys displayed similar attitudes about same- and other-gender peers, with the exception of boys reporting more positive attitudes toward boys. Adolescents enjoyed the following aspects of same- and other-gender friendships: talking about problems, receiving help, sharing items and activities, receiving advice about romance and puberty, and receiving help with schoolwork. Adolescents engaged with mixed-gender peers for most shared activities, although gender segregation was present for certain activities (e.g., playing sports). Results may inform programs that support positive peer interactions among youth in sub-Saharan Africa.






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