This study assessed the effects of a best friend’s facial attractiveness on first impressions of medium-attractive children and early adolescents. Younger (N = 114, 48 boys and 66 girls, Mage = 8.16 years) and older (N = 168, 83 boys and 85 girls, Mage = 12.32 years) participants rated photos of unknown medium-attractive younger (6–9 years) and older (10–16 years) boys and girls (the targets) who were paired with an attractive or unattractive same-gender best friend. First-impression scores were consolidated ratings of targets on six characteristics reflecting social and academic competence (has a lot of friends, fun to be with, popular, good leader, kind to others, smart in school). First impressions of older but not younger targets were more positive when targets were paired with an attractive than with an unattractive friend. Further research is needed to determine whether having an attractive friend represents a social advantage primarily after puberty.


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pp. 468-485
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