language and concerned with problems that we all acknowledge to be important issues in the field. A number of themes are touched upon -- the description of children's networks and their variation with age and with ecological context, the problems of measurement, and the functional relationships of children's networks to various important aspects of development.
It is our hope in collecting this research in one place not only that it will serve as a source of information about children's social networks and as an aid in understanding their implications but also that it will act as a catalyst for inspiring other investigators to begin to work in the area -- resulting in research that we believe will eventually help improve children's lives through the added understanding of the effects of the social context in which they grow up.
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