Article

Best friends forever?: High school best friendships and the transition to college

Personal Relationships (Impact Factor: 1.41). 05/2003; 10(2):187 - 196. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6811.00045

ABSTRACT The transition from high school to college is an important phase for adolescents in social as well as academic aspects. This study examined the changes that occur in high school best friendships during the first year of college. Results revealed that during the first year in college high school best friendships declined in satisfaction, commitment, rewards, and investments. During this period there was also an increase in costs and alternatives to best friend relationships. Proximity did not influence the friendships; however, level of communication did moderate friendship deterioration. Furthermore, individuals who continued their best friendship reported engaging in more maintenance behaviors of positivity, supportiveness, self-disclosure, and interaction than individuals who reported a change in the relationship to close or casual friendship. Maintaining the best friendship also appeared to buffer adolescents from social loneliness. The results are discussed in terms of the implications of transitions on adolescent friendships.

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    • "These findings are particularly salient given the proposition that social ties—particularly those with like-others (e.g., those who share similar lived experiences )—are hypothesized to be most fulfilling and effective for overall adjustment through the exchange of empathetic understanding (Thoits 1986). Given that emerging adults at university report profound negative changes in their high-school friendships (e.g., become more distant) during the first year of university (Oswald and Clark 2003), and that new friendships at university are strongly predictive of overall university adjustment (Buote et al. 2007), we chose to focus our assessment of social ties on the quality of individuals' social networks specific to the university setting. First, we review the research examining the relationship between sleep problems and social ties. "
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