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The classroom implications are obvious. "Teachers who take the trouble to help their students develop harmonious friendships should have fewer problems in their classroom,'' Berndt writes.

Berndt also found evidence to support the widely held belief that students are influenced by the company they keep. Students become more disruptive when they have disruptive friends, and become more involved in school activities when their friends are involved.

Similarly, students tend toward the same level of academic performance as their friends.

--Elizabeth Schulz

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