In this article a conceptualization of peer friendship in terms of underlying dimensions and behavioral manifestations is presented. A theoretical distinction between deep and surface structures was introduced by Laursen & Hartup (2002): the aim of the study was to describe the interface between conception of friendship, assessed through an interview, and social exchanges among friends and no friends, assessed through a check-list. 82 children (age 5;7) were asked to indicate and to present their most preferred and their less liked classmates. The same dayads indicated by the children were observed in a natural context of play. As we expected, the behavioral manifestations could be considered as emergent properties of deep-level cognitions concerning friendship.