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Friendship formation in early adolescence

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Friendship formation in early adolescence

Hardy, Cindy (1997) Friendship formation in early adolescence. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to (a) examine temporal features of youths' peer relationships during the transition to high school and (b) examine prospectively the earliest phases of friendship formation. Students were tested six times as they moved from Grade 6 in small elementary schools into Grade 7 in one larger high school. In May of Grade 6 and in September, October, November, December, and May of Grade 7, participants completed sociometric nominations. Upon entry to Grade 7, they identified same-gender target peers who they had just met and with whom they thought they would become friends, and reported their perceptions of these relationships throughout Grade 7. Sociometric nominations were used to assess whether the relationships developed into friendships. Examination of temporal features of peer relationships revealed that peer relationships demonstrate both stability and change during the transition to high school, and that girls experience greater change in their friendships than boys. That is, during the fall term of Grade 7, both boys and girls lost old friendships, but girls lost more than boys and did so earlier in the school year. In addition, both boys and girls formed new friendships with previously unfamiliar peers, but girls did so more often and earlier in the school year. Youth appeared to base their selections of potential friends on peers' degree of acceptance and, to a lesser extent, rejection by the peer group. Initial perceptions of the qualities of relationships with potential friends did not appear to differentiate relationships which later became friendships from those which did not, but the validity of that conclusion was limited by insufficient statistical power. The transition from acquaintanceship to reciprocated friendship was characterized by increases in perceived positive relationship qualities, and perceptions of relationship qualities did not change during the first four months of friendship. The continued study of temporal features of friendship is needed to clarify the causes and correlates of stability and change in adolescent friendships, both in terms of overall friendship networks and in terms of the development of specific friendships.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Hardy, Cindy
Pagination:x, 185 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Dept. of Psychology
Date:1997
Thesis Supervisor(s):Doyle, Anna-Beth
ID Code:321
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:11
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:13
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