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The Importance of FriendsFriendship and Adjustment Among 1st-Year University Students


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In a study of new friendships and adjustment among 1st-year university students, students at six Canadian universities completed questionnaires that assessed the quality of new friendships and adjustment during their first academic year. In-depth, face-to-face interviews about students' new friendships were conducted with a subsample of these students. Results indicated a significant positive relation between quality of new friendships and adjustment to university; this association was stronger for students living in residence than for those commuting to university. The interview data provided insight into the processes through which the relation between quality of new friendships and adjustment occurs. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of new friendships in helping individuals to adjust to a new social environment.
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Journal of Adolescent
DOI: 10.1177/0743558407306344
2007; 22; 665 Journal of Adolescent Research
Birnie-Lefcovitch, Janet Polivy and Maxine Gallander Wintre
Vanessa M. Buote, S. Mark Pancer, Michael W. Pratt, Gerald Adams, Shelly
1st-Year University Students
The Importance of Friends: Friendship and Adjustment Among
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The Importance of Friends
Friendship and Adjustment
Among 1st-Year University
Vanessa M. Buote
S. Mark Pancer
Michael W. Pratt
Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Gerald Adams
University of Guelph, Canada
Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch
Memorial University, Canada
Janet Polivy
University of Toronto, Canada
Maxine Gallander Wintre
York University, Canada
In a study of new friendships and adjustment among 1st-year university
students, students at six Canadian universities completed questionnaires that
assessed the quality of new friendships and adjustment during their first acad-
emic year. In-depth, face-to-face interviews about students’ new friendships
were conducted with a subsample of these students. Results indicated a signif-
icant positive relation between quality of new friendships and adjustment to
university; this association was stronger for students living in residence than for
those commuting to university. The interview data provided insight into the
processes through which the relation between quality of new friendships and
adjustment occurs. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of new
friendships in helping individuals to adjust to a new social environment.
Keywords: university adjustment; friendship; openness; commuter student;
emerging adulthood
Journal of Adolescent
Volume 22 Number 6
November 2007 665-689
© 2007 Sage Publications
hosted at
Authors’ Note: Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Vanessa Buote,
Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3C5;
phone: (519) 884-1970 x2393. Electronic mail may be sent via Internet to
by Shannon Dobson on October 18, 2008 http://jar.sagepub.comDownloaded from
n contemporary society, the transition from high school to university
is being made by an increasing number of emerging adults, with
approximately 60% of North America’s youths furthering their education
by attending university (Pancer, Pratt, Hunsberger, & Alisat, 2005). For
many, this transition is not an easy one. Studies have shown that 20% to
25% of 1st-year students do not complete a 2nd year of education
(Hamilton & Hamilton, 2006) and that a further 20% to 30% may leave
university in subsequent years (Grayson & Grayson, 2003). One reason
for the high drop-out rates may be the difficulties and stressors associ-
ated with beginning university life. First-year university students experi-
ence a wide range of problems that could contribute to poor university
adjustment and, ultimately, leaving university. These include homesick-
ness and friendsickness (Paul & Brier, 2001), depression, obsessionality,
psychological disturbance, absent-mindedness (Fisher & Hood, 1987), a
sense of isolation (Brooks & DuBois, 1995), a drop in academic grades
(Levitz & Noel, 1989), and increased interpersonal conflict (Fisher &
Hood, 1987). These problems may be amplified for students who chose
to leave home to attend university, as they must cope not only with the
stress associated with university life but also with being separated from
parents, siblings, friends, and community members, as well as with the
stress of relocating.
Friends, particularly a best friend, may be one of the mechanisms that
might counteract the difficulties and stress associated with major life tran-
sitions because they are major sources of social support (Tokuno, 1986).
Having friends has been found to be correlated from childhood through old
age with psychological well-being and may lead to an increase in feelings
of self-worth and self-esteem (Hartup & Stevens, 1997). Friends provide a
number of benefits and fulfill various functions. A friend can act as a role
model (Tokuno, 1986), a reference group, a listener, an individual who
understands, a critic, an adviser, and a companion (Richey & Richey, 1980,
Tokuno, 1986). Furthermore, friends provide advice, guidance, reassur-
ance, acceptance, sympathetic listening, encouragement, feedback, and a
sense of belonging (Tokuno, 1986; Weiss, 1974). Moreover, friends provide
concrete help and allow one the opportunity to help others (Weiss, 1974).
Given the benefits of friendships, Richey and Richey (1980) concluded that
adolescents “need the social support offered by a best friend” (p. 538), as
these individuals fulfill many functions, a number of which cannot be sat-
isfied by family members. It is probable that a best friend may be one of the
most important assets in major life transitions, given that a best friendship
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is usually considered to be more intimate than other friendships (Rybak &
McAndrew, 2006).
The multiple functions that friends fulfill, and their provisions of support
and well-being, suggest that having a close friend during stressful experi-
ences would certainly help individuals cope. This may be particularly true
during the transition to university, where a loss of friends may occur as there
is typically a disruption in social support networks (Kenny, 1987). During
the shift from high school to university, high school friendships tend to
decrease in satisfaction, commitment, supportiveness, quality, and quantity
and may ultimately dissipate completely (Oswald & Clark, 2003; Shaver,
Furman & Buhrmester, 1985). For example, approximately 41% of high
school best friendships have been found to become more distant during the
fall semester of students’ 1st year of university (Oswald & Clark, 2003).
The dissipation of high school friendship networks may be particularly
pronounced for students leaving home to attend university, as the frequency
with which these students can see, talk to, or visit their high school friends
may decrease once they begin university. In contrast, the friendships of
commuter students, who reside with their parents while attending univer-
sity, may be more likely to remain largely intact, as the majority of the indi-
viduals in their network continue to be available even after the student has
begun university. Although it is possible that the friendship networks of
commuting university students may decrease in size, with a number of their
friends moving away to attend university or find work after high school,
commuter students would be more likely to continue their involvement in
many of the groups, organizations, clubs, sports teams, and activities they
participated in prior to attending university, leaving their friendship net-
works relatively stable. Therefore, although it is important for all 1st-year
students to replenish their friendship network, developing new friendships
may be particularly important for students who live in residence during
their 1st year at university.
The relatively few studies have that have focused on friendship develop-
ment in 1st-year university students indicate that friendships undergo sig-
nificant changes during this period. In two studies, Hays (1984, 1985)
found that approximately 60% of the friendships that were just budding at
the beginning of university students’ first semester became close friend-
ships by the end of the semester. Shaver et al. (1985) found that 97% of
1st-year university students had met someone during the fall semester that
they felt was their new best friend. Past research indicates that residence
students make more friends than do commuter students and that residence
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and commuter students’ friendship and support networks differ consider-
ably (Hays & Oxley, 1986). Residence students’ networks consist of a
lower proportion of family members and a higher proportion of other
students. Indeed, 84% of residence students’ networks were found to be
composed of other students, whereas only 48% of commuters’ networks
comprised other students (Hays & Oxley, 1986), probably reflecting the lat-
ter’s largely intact social support networks and thus their reduced need to
form new friendships at university. It follows, then, that commuter students
will not be as open to making new friendships and will not make as many
new friendships as do residence students. Hence, one important difference
between residence and commuter students may be their level of openness
to making new friendships, which was investigated in the present study.
Following this line of argument, we also expected that the new friendships
developed at university would be more important for residence students’
adjustment than for commuter students’ adjustment. As indicated above, res-
idence students are likely to experience a more dramatic break in their friend-
ship networks. As these students are less able to receive support from their
old friends, they may need to look to others for this support. Given that these
students are making many new friendships, it is highly probable that it is
these new friends that students will seek out for support, making them very
important for university adjustment. Commuter students, on the other hand,
are likely to rely on the same people as they did prior to beginning university,
making their new friendships less important for their adjustment.
In summary, the present study examined the relation between university
adjustment and new friendships developed at university. We hypothesized
that (a) a positive association would exist between the quality of new friend-
ships developed at university and university adjustment; (b) this association
would be stronger for residence students than for commuter students; (c) a
positive association would exist between openness to new friendships and
university adjustment, with this relationship being mediated by the quality of
new friendships developed at university; and (d) in the summer prior to com-
mencing university, residence students would exhibit greater openness to
making new friendships than would commuter students.
A second, qualitative component of this study, in which in-depth face-
to-face interviews were conducted with a small subsample of respondents
about their new friendships at university, was used to understand the
process of friendship development in 1st-year students and to identify
some of the mechanisms by which new friendships influence student
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Quantitative Component
Participants were part of a larger longitudinal study, which included
1,845 participants from six Canadian universities. The participating univer-
sities varied in the size of the student population, class size, ethnic diver-
sity, municipality size, and location (province). Participants who had not
completed all the measures included in the present study or who did not
indicate their residential plans for their 1st year of university were elimi-
nated. In addition, all participants living off-campus and who were unsure
of their residential plans were removed from the sample. Students who
were eliminated from the sample differed from students who were included
in terms of gender, t(1,810)= –.312, p = .002, with those included in the
sample consisting of a lower proportion of male students (44.2% vs. 50.7%)
and a higher proportion of female students (55.8% vs. 47.5%).
Furthermore, there was a marginal difference in age, t(1,816)= 1.795, p =
.079, with excluded students being slightly older (M = 17.96 vs. 17.88).
There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of res-
idence plans, t(1,820)= .791, p = .472, or ethnic background, t(1,800)=
–.972, p = .331. The total sample for the present study included 310 male
and 392 female 1st-year commuter and residence university students for an
overall total of 702 participants. Specifically, the group of residence
students included participants living alone in a university residence (171;
83 male students and 88 female students), students living in residence with
a university-assigned roommate (223; 89 male students and 134 female
students), and students living with a friend or sibling in a university resi-
dence (3 female students). The group of commuter students included
students who resided at home with their parents (293; 133 male students
and 160 female students), students living with relatives while attending uni-
versity (10; 4 male students and 6 female students), students living part-
time at home and part-time with relatives (1 female student), and those
living with their siblings at home (1 male student). The age distribution of
participants ranged from 17 to 21 years. The mean age of participants in
August 2005 was 17.88 (SD = .641). Twenty-two percent of the sample
(n = 156) considered themselves members of a visible minority. Of these
individuals, 117 participants specified a group to which they belonged; of
these 117 individuals, 64 (54.7%) were Asian, 25 (21.3%) were Indo,
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4 (3.4%) were European, 6 (5.1%) were Latino, 9 (7.6%) were Black, 6 (5.1%)
were Middle Eastern, 1 participant was Aboriginal, 1 was Philippine/Brazilian,
and 1 was Zoroastrian.
Participants were recruited from five universities in Ontario and one in
Newfoundland, Canada. In August 2005, postcards were mailed to all
incoming students (9,780 students), explaining the purpose of the study and
asking students to log on to a particular Web site to complete question-
naires. A total of 1,812 students, representing 18.5% of prospective parti-
cipants, completed the preuniversity questionnaire that included several
background measures (including one asking students to indicate where they
would be living during their 1st year at university) and a measure of open-
ness to new friendships. Consent was obtained by stating in the postcard
that “when we have your responses, we will take that as your permission to
include your responses in our data analyses. As compensation for participa-
tion, participants were entered into a draw for the chance to win one of six
prizes of one term’s tuition. At the beginning of November 2005, a follow-up
e-mail was sent to students who participated in the study in August explaining
the purpose of the study and asking participants to take part in an online fol-
low-up study. Of those 1,812 who received the e-mail, 1,036 (57.2% of the
sample) completed the online questionnaire, which contained measures of
friendship quantity and quality and adjustment to university. As compensa-
tion, participants were again entered into the tuition draw. To maintain con-
fidentiality, participants were identified by a research code.
Depression. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale
(CES-D; Radloff, 1977) was used to assess depression. Participants rated
their level of agreement with each of 20 items on a 4-point scale, which
ranged from rarely or none of the time (less than 1 day) to most or all of the
time (5-7 days). Examples of items from this scale include “I was bothered by
things that usually don’t bother me” and “My sleep was restless.” The CES-D
has good reliability (Cronbachs alpha is at .85) and good validity (Radloff,
1977). Cronbach’s alpha for this sample was .78. The CES-D was adminis-
tered in August.
Openness to new friendships. Openness to new friendships was measured by
the Openness to Friendships Scale, created by the authors to examine the
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degree to which participants felt they were open to making new friendships
once arriving at university. Participants indicated their level of agreement
with each of 10 statements on a 9-point scale, ranging from –4 (very
strongly disagree) to +4 (very strongly agree), with higher scores indicating
greater openness to developing new friendships. This scale includes items
such as “I am excited at the possibility of meeting new friends at univer-
sity” and “I am looking forward to getting to know many new people at uni-
versity.” Cronbach’s alpha was found to be .89 for the present study. This
scale was administered in the August questionnaire.
Adjustment to university. The Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire
(SACQ; Baker & Siryk, 1984) was used to measure university adjustment. The
measure includes four subscales: Academic Adjustment, Social Adjustment,
Personal-Emotional Adjustment, and Institutional Attachment. The Academic
Adjustment subscale gauges the student’s ability to adapt to the academic
demands of university, whereas the Social Adjustment subscale measures
how well students adjust to interpersonal experiences. The Personal-Emo-
tional Adjustment subscale assesses psychological and physical health. The
Institutional Attachment subscale measures students’ commitment to the col-
lege or university they are attending and to a college or university education.
Participants indicated their level of agreement with each statement on a 9-
point scale, ranging from 1 (applies very closely to me) to 9 (does not apply
to me at all). Higher scores on the overall scale and the subscales indicate
better adjustment. Sample items from this scale include “I have been keeping
up-to-date on my academic work” and “I haven’t been able to control my
emotions very well lately.” Reliability for this scale has been shown to be
good, with Cronbach’s alpha ranging from .77 to .95 for the subscales and
from .92 to .95 for the overall scale. Cronbach’s alphas for the current study
were as follows: overall score, .95; Academic Adjustment subscale, .87;
Social Adjustment subscale, .83; Personal-Emotional Adjustment subscale,
.87; and Institutional Attachment subscale, .85. The SACQ was administered
in the November questionnaire.
Friendship quality. Friendship quality was assessed using the McGill
Friendship Questionnaire–Friend’s Functions (MFQ-FF, short form; Mendelson
& Aboud, 1999). This questionnaire measures the degree to which six
friendship functions (stimulating companionship, help, intimacy, reliable
alliance, self-validation, and emotional security) are fulfilled by a particu-
lar friend (participants completed the questionnaire with regard to one
friend only). Participants were asked to think of the one new person they
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had met at university that they felt closest to (excluding a boyfriend or girlfriend)
and to indicate their level of agreement with each of 30 statements about that
friend on an 8-point scale, ranging from 1 (never) to 8 (always). Higher scores
indicated greater fulfillment of friendship functions by the friend.
The MFQ-FF includes six subscales: Stimulating Companionship, Help,
Intimacy, Reliable Alliance, Self-Validation, and Emotional Security. Stimulat-
ing companionship refers to friends spending time together and engaging in
activities that stimulate amusement and enjoyment. Help is defined as provid-
ing assistance, guidance, information, and material aid to one’s friend.
Intimacy refers to self-disclosure, sensitivity to the friend’s needs, and being
accepting. Loyalty and knowing one can count on one’s friend comprise reli-
able alliance. Self-validation is conceptualized as perceiving one’s friend as
agreeing, encouraging, listening, and reassuring, and as helping one to main-
tain a positive self-image. Last, emotional security is conceptualized as the
comfort a friend provides in difficult and threatening situations. Examples of
the scale items include “[My friend] makes me feel better when I am upset”
and “[My friend] would still want to stay my friend even if we argued.” This
scale has been found to have excellent reliability, with Cronbach’s alpha for
the scale being .97 and subscale values ranging between .84 and .90. Validity
was also found to be good in previous research (Mendelson & Aboud, 1999).
Cronbach’s alpha for this scale in the present study was determined to be .98,
with subscale values ranging from .91 to .95. The MFQ-FF was administered
in the November questionnaire.
Friendship quantity. Friendship quantity was measured by two ques-
tions: ”Please indicate how many friends you have made since coming to
university” and “Please indicate how many friends you have made since
coming to university that you would consider to be close friends. These
questions were asked on the November questionnaire.
Hypothesis 1 stated that a positive correlation would exist between qual-
ity of new friendships developed at university and university adjustment.
Table 1 presents the correlations among pertinent variables related to
friendship quality and adjustment for the overall sample; these correlations
indicated a consistent positive relationship between quality of friendships
formed in 1st-year university (as assessed by the MFQ-FF) and adjustment
to university. The correlation between quality of new friendships and social
adjustment was particularly substantial, r(N = 701) = .51.
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Linear regression analysis was also conducted to test this relationship.
Controlling for age, gender, and August levels of depression (used as a pre-
measure of adjustment), quality of new friendships was used to predict adjust-
ment at university in November. Results are presented in Table 2. Quality of
new friendships was a significant positive predictor of overall university
adjustment and of the four specific types of adjustment (social, academic,
personal-emotional, and institutional attachment) measured on the SACQ.
To further examine the importance of friendship quality and quantity in
students’ university adjustment, a regression analyses was conducted using
friendship quality (as assessed by the McGill Friendship Questionnaire)
and quantity (number of friends) as predictor variables, while controlling
for age, gender, and depression. Results indicate that both quality, t(669) =
6.89, p < .001 (β=.24), and quantity of friendships, t(669) = 2.35, p = .02
(β=.08), were significant predictors of university adjustment. However,
based on significance level and beta weights, it appears that quality of
friendships was more important for university adjustment than was overall
Buote et al. / Friendships and Adjustment 673
Table 1
Correlations Between Quality of New Friendships
and University Adjustment for the Total Sample
and Commuter and Residence Students
Total Sample Commuter Students Residence Students
SACQ total
r .32*** .23* .40*
N 702 305 397
r .21*** .17* .30*
N 702 305 397
r .51*** .43* .54*
N 701 304 397
r .07 –.01 .16*
N 702 305 397
Institutional attachment
r .40*** .34* .45*
N 702 305 397
Note: SACQ = Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire.
* Significant at .05 (two-tailed). *** Significant at .001 (two-tailed).
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Table 2
Summary of Regression Analysis of the Relationship Between Quality of
New Friendships and University Adjustment for the Total Sample
Dependent Variable Independent Variables FpR² B SE B β t
SACQ total MFQ-FF 75.04 .001*** .30 0.37 0.05 .26 9.02***
Age 7.82 3.61 .069 2.17*
Gender –16.73 4.73 –.12 –3.54***
Depression –3.13 0.24 –.42 –13.05***
Academic subscale (SACQ) MFQ-FF 22.79 .001*** .12 0.074 0.017 .158 4.32***
Age 2.01 1.34 .05 1.51
Gender 1.76 1.75 .04 1.01
Depression –0.65 0.09 –.27 –7.40***
Social subscale (SACQ) MFQ-FF 103.48 .001*** .37 0.26 0.02 .48 15.53***
Age 3.30 1.30 .08 2.54*
Gender –7.31 1.69 –1.32 –4.30***
Depression –0.81 0.09 –.29 –9.37***
Personal–Emotional subscale (SACQ) MFQ-FF 67.50 .001*** .28 0.004 0.01 .01 0.29
Age 1.13 1.12 .03 1.01
Gender –7.05 1.47 –.16 –4.81***
Depression –1.01 0.07 –.49 –14.92***
Institutional Attachment subscale (SACQ) MFQ-FF 71.09 .001*** .290 0.14 0.013 .36 10.95***
Age 2.70 1.02 .09 2.65*
Gender –4.13 1.33 –.10 –3.09**
Depression –0.68 0.07 –.33 –10.04***
Note: SACQ = Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire; MFQ-FF = McGill Friendship Questionnaire–Friend’s Functions (short form).
* Significant at the .05 level. ** Significant at the .01 level. *** Significant at the .001 level.
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quantity. In addition, a model consisting of friendship quality, age, gender,
and depression accounted for 13.5% of the variance in university adjust-
ment, with the addition of the friendship quantity variable increasing the
accounted variance to 14.6%, indicating only a small contribution.
Hypothesis 2 stated that the relationship between friendship quality and
university adjustment would be stronger for residence students than com-
muter students. Correlations between friendship quality and adjustment for
commuter and residence students are presented in Table 1. Friendship qual-
ity was significantly associated with all types of university adjustment for
both residence and commuter students, except for personal-emotional
adjustment of commuter students. However, the correlation between over-
all quality of friendship and adjustment was significantly more positive for
residence students than for commuter students (N = 397; 305), Z = 2.49,
p < .05. With regard to the subscales of the MFQ-FF, the correlation
between friendship quality and adjustment was significantly more positive
for personal-emotional adjustment (N = 400; 306), Z = 2.17, p < .05, and
marginally more positive for academic adjustment (N = 397; 305), Z = 1.80,
p < .10, social adjustment (N = 397; 305), Z = 1.77, p < .10, and institutional
attachment (N = 400; 306), Z = 1.79, p < .10.
Hypothesis 3 stated that a positive association would exist between
openness to new friendships and adjustment to university, with quality of
new friendships mediating this relationship. Correlations relating to this
hypothesis are presented in Table 3. Mediation was tested using a series of
regression analyses controlling for age, gender, and depression, following
the procedure developed by Baron and Kenny (1986). An initial regression
analysis was conducted using openness to new friendships as the indepen-
dent variable and university adjustment as the dependent variable. Analysis
revealed a significant relation between openness to new friendships and
university adjustment, t(696) = 2.08, p = .04 (β=.07), such that more open-
ness to new friendships was related to higher levels of university adjust-
ment. Next, another regression was conducted to examine openness to new
friendships as a predictor of quality of new friendships. Results indicated a
significant relation between openness to new friendships and quality of new
friendships, t(796) = 6.79, p < .001 (β=.25), such that more openness to
new friendships was related to higher quality friendships. Then, a regres-
sion was conducted using quality of new friendships as the independent
variable while controlling for openness to new friendships, with university
adjustment as the dependent variable (with gender and age also used as con-
trol variables). Results indicated a significant association between new
friendship quality and university adjustment, t(695) = 7.72, p < .001 (β=.26),
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such that higher levels of quality of new friendships were associated with
higher levels of university adjustment. Last, openness to new friendships,
while controlling for quality of friendships, was used to predict
university adjustment. With the quality of friendships entered into the
regression, the relation between openness to new friendships and adjust-
ment dropped to nonsignificance, indicating complete mediation according
to Baron and Kenny (1986), t(695) = .17, p = .87 (β=.01). In addition, a
Sobel test was conducted and indicated that the mediation path was signif-
icant, Z = 5.15, p < .001.
Hypothesis 4 stated that, in the summer prior to beginning university,
residence students would have higher levels of openness to new friend-
ships than would commuter students. As predicted, it was found that res-
idence students had higher levels of openness to new friendships, t(700)=
–8.65, p < .001. The mean level of openness to new friendships for resi-
dence students was 73.72 (SD = 9.95), whereas for commuters the mean
level was 66.44 (SD = 12.28). Not only were residence students more
open to new friendships, but these students made significantly more
friends, t(674) = –8.78, p < .001, and more close friends, t(691) = –6.60,
p < .001, by November than did commuter students. Whereas residence
students made an average of 23.46 new friends and 5.65 new close
friends, commuter students made an average of 11.32 new friends and
2.57 new close friends.
676 Journal of Adolescent Research
Table 3
Correlations Between Openness to New Friendships,
Quality of New Friendships, and University Adjustment
Openness to
SACQ (total) MFQ–FF New Friendships
SACQ (total)
r 1 .316** .131**
N 702 702 702
r .316** 1 .283**
N 702 702 702
Openness to new friendships
r .131** .283** 1
N 702 702 702
Note: SACQ = Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire; MFQ-FF = McGill Friendship
Questionnaire–Friend’s Functions (short form).
** Significant at the .01 level.
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Qualitative Component
Although quantitative analysis is well suited to the purpose of assessing
the degree of relationship among variables, it is less adequate at identifying
and describing the processes that underlie the development and functions of
these relationships. To discover meaning, how something affects someone or
how individuals think about a concept, people must be given the opportunity
to express themselves through their stories and experiences (Patton, 2001).
Qualitative analysis allows the researcher to achieve an in-depth understand-
ing of the individual’s experiences and perspectives (Patton, 2001). Qualita-
tive methods were therefore considered appropriate for the current study as
the goal was to achieve an in-depth understanding in two areas. First, given
that the quantitative component indicated that new friendships are important
for university adjustment, we sought to understand the process by which
these new friendships are developed. Second, we investigated the processes
underlying the relationship between new friendships and university adjust-
ment by asking participants to discuss the ways in which the friends they had
made since coming to university helped them adjust to university.
The participants were 12 students (8 male students and 4 female
students) selected from the larger sample of students who completed the
questionnaires. Six students lived in a university residence, 2 students com-
muted to university, and 4 students lived in off-campus apartments. The
participants were selected to take part in the present study using a maxi-
mum variation sampling strategy (Patton, 2001). This method consists of
purposefully selecting the sample to maximize variation on the concept of
interest (Patton, 2001). In this instance, participants were selected to have
a sample that consisted of students who varied in their accommodation
arrangements during their 1st year at university.
In November 2005, an e-mail describing the study and asking for par-
ticipation was sent out to selected students. Interested students then replied
by e-mail, and the researcher contacted the individuals expressing an inter-
est by telephone or e-mail to arrange a meeting time. Interviews were con-
ducted face-to-face, were audiotape-recorded and lasted approximately 30
to 45 minutes. Upon completion, interviews were transcribed verbatim.
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The Interviews
Students participated in a 17-question structured interview that focused on
the formation of new friendships while at university and how these new friend-
ships affected their adjustment. A number of questions regarding students’
experience with friendship development at university were first asked and
included questions such as “What was it like making friends at university?” and
“How open do you think you were to making new friends at university?”
Participants were also asked several questions pertaining to their friendship
with the individual they considered to be their closest new friend (since com-
ing to university). Examples of these questions include “Please tell me how
your friendship with this person developed” and “What has changed in terms
of your friendship since you first met your new friend?” Participants were also
asked how their new friendships had contributed to their adjustment to univer-
sity: “How have your new friendships affected the way you have adjusted to
university life?” and “How has this person (person considered to be the closest
friend since attending university) influenced your adjustment to university?”
Coding Procedure
Interviews transcripts were then analyzed with the assistance of a com-
puter program (NVivo). Thematic analysis was conducted using a proce-
dure suggested by Patton (2001) and Glaser and Strauss (1967). According
to both Patton (2001) and Glaser and Strauss (1967), the first step of qual-
itative analysis is content analysis, which involves identifying, categoriz-
ing, classifying, and coding primary themes in the data. This was first done
at an overall level by organizing participants’ responses into categories on
the basis of the question that was answered. Content analysis was per-
formed on each category using a constant comparative method (Glaser &
Strauss, 1967), which consists of identifying statements and deciding
which interview statements fit into a particular theme. Once complete, the
categories were evaluated in terms of internal homogeneity (the extent to
which the data comprising a particular category fit together in a meaning-
ful way) and external heterogeneity (the extent to which different categories
are, in fact, clearly different) (Patton, 2001).
Three overarching and interconnected themes emerged from the analy-
sis of the interview responses. The first had to do with students’ reflections
on how open they had been to making new friends when they began their
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university studies. The second theme concerned the ways in which students
formed new friendships at university and the factors that they considered
important in the development of these friendships. The third theme had to
do with the ways in which students’ new friends influenced their adjustment
to university.
Openness to New Friendships
In the interview, respondents were asked how open they thought they
were to making new friends at university. Responses indicated a wide range
in the extent to which individuals thought they were open to new friend-
ships. A number of students felt that they had not been very open to making
new friends. Some attributed this to their personality dispositions:
I’m not a very open person I don’t think, so I think it’s just my personality.
A lot of people when they first meet me would say I am shy, or I am not out-
going, but I guess you have to get to know me a bit better before I open up
so I think that’s the hard part, like you can’t just open up right away to a
stranger; well, I can’t.
Other respondents felt that they had not been very open to making new
friends because they already had a circle of friends with which they were
satisfied and did not feel the need to forge new friendships:
I knew right in the summer about thinking about university I was just like I
am going to get work done, and I know I am not going to have as many
friends as I had here. I have a lot of friends back home. Those are my real
friends, so I basically stayed with that.
Others who felt that they had been less open to making new friends
attributed their lack of openness to their living situation:
I don’t think I was very open. Like I did want to meet new people but . . . my
first decision to live with my friends pretty much narrows it down that I wasn’t
too open, but I do want to meet people, but I haven’t met too many yet.
The qualitative data appeared to corroborate the survey data, which indi-
cated that one’s openness to new friendships was related to the extent to
which they made friends at university:
When you came to university, you came from back home, and you have all these
friends, and you are sad to leave them so you come and you are still trying to stay
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connected to those friends, and I almost in some ways shut myself off from
meeting new people in that way ’cause I was trying to stay connected. So I
didn’t actually start meeting new friends until October or even this month,
like really making friends, so I think my first 2 months here at university
were kind of lonely.
Several respondents indicated that they had been very open to making
new friends when they started university. For some, this openness stemmed
from a dissatisfaction or boredom with their high school friendships and a
desire to forge interesting, new, and possibly lifelong friendships:
I was pretty open actually, like I was really excited to come to university. I
think as much as I love my group of friends from back home, you feel, after
hanging out with them for so long, you’re almost like “I am so going to be
happy meeting new friends” and get away from these stupid little fights, . . .
and you want to meet new people, and you want to experience new things.
A number of respondents who had moved away from home to attend
university indicated that they were conscious of the fact that they would be
leaving most or all of their old friends behind when they started university
and that they would have to make new friends if they wanted to have a
social network.
I’d say I was pretty open because . . . I lived in a city not very close to here,
so when I came here, I knew that none of my friends from my high school
were really coming here so I’d have to make new friends, so I was pretty
open-minded about trying to meet new people and get a new group going and
The Friendship Formation Process
Several questions in the interview focused on how individuals came to
establish new friendships at university. Respondents identified a number of
factors that were important in the process of establishing these friendships.
The process of making new friends started as soon as students arrived on
campus. When asked how and why their first new friendships developed,
several of the interviewees indicated that their first friends at university
were individuals who shared the same interests, values, sense of humor,
sexual orientation, musical tastes, and hobbies. In addition, participants felt
that individuals who had undergone similar experiences and engaged in
similar activities would make good friendship candidates. For example,
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when asked why she became friends with one person over another, one par-
ticipant answered,
We have the same sense of humor, we listen to the same kind of music, sort
of like the same things, like morals and values, like I can tell that something
I would find offensive she would find offensive, and something that I would
think is acceptable, I think she would agree.
A number of participants indicated that they became friends with others
who had positive or desirable personality traits, such as being funny, con-
siderate, or nice. When asked why he became friends with a particular
person, one participant stated,
[He shows] intelligence, loves to be nice, being respectful of other people’s
stuff, being respectful of other people’s like relationships, not being clingy,
that’s a big one, like if I am doing something, he doesn’t necessarily care
what I am doing, he doesn’t attach himself to what I am doing. [ . . . ] He’s
obviously funny; he actually has some real emotions. . . . He likes to go
drinking or whatever, have fun. He is pretty extraverted.
Situational factors, such as proximity, the classes the individual attended,
and the residence in which the individual lived, also influenced who partici-
pants became friends with:
A lot of it had to do with the classes that I was in and the classes they were
in because the more time you have to spend with people, no matter what sit-
uation you are in, be it in class or out of class, the more time you have to
spend with people, the easier it is because to become friends with them
because you can get to know them better and have more time to like joke
around and do some serious work and all that stuff.
Participants also felt that the ease with which they could interact with a
person influenced who they became friends with. Participants discussed
how they could relate to, or “just clicked” with some of their new friends,
which then led to easy friendship development:
I came from a [small] high school, so you didn’t pick your friends because you
had something necessarily in common with them, but you pick them because
you didn’t have a lot of selection kind of, which is kind of sad to say but, in a
way it’s true, and I know that I pick her not because she was friends with my
other friends but because she was someone who I really get along with.
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The interviews took place approximately 2 months after the beginning
of the university term. This had allowed many of the friendships that
students talked about to progress beyond the getting-acquainted stage. One
of the key factors that interviewees said contributed to the growth of their
new friendships was the amount of time they spent with their new friends:
Like at first, it [the friendship] could be just more like acquaintances, like
just, talk to them in class but you wouldn’t really go out of your way to invite
them somewhere or something like that, and then after a while, it’s just, you
sit with them more, you talk with them more, and then you’ll feel more com-
fortable with them, and you’ll invite them to go places with you and to share
in the things that you like to do.
Friendships also appeared to grow more intimate as the individuals
involved became more open and comfortable with each other. As time
passed, individuals talked about showing their “real” selves to one another
and engaging in more self-disclosure:
It [the friendship] seems like most of it has changed, it’s just that when you
first meet someone, you don’t know much about them, and then you get
much more comfortable with them once you know them personally, so I think
a lot of things can change. And you don’t really act yourself completely when
you first meet them because you are not that comfortable with them to com-
pletely show who you are I think that’s what has changed, like, maybe you
are more nice to the person when you first meet them, and then later you are
not, I think just generally you become more yourself, and I think that’s what
has changed since we have become closer.
Many participants talked about becoming more open with their friends in
terms of their willingness to talk about personal information, such as back-
ground information, sexual experiences, and family issues. This was perceived
as a way to deepen and strengthen the friendship. For example, one participant
discussed how he and his friend became more open in their conversation:
We’ll discuss stuff that you definitely never talk to people when you first
meet them, stuff like sexual experience, or like family problems, stuff like
that. It’s just if you started to say [those things] when you first met a person,
[it would] be an extremely awkward conversation. Like personal problems
that you wouldn’t tell people.
Another factor that appeared to help friendships develop was the integration
of new friends into one’s existing network of friends and family. Meeting one
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another’s family and friends was perceived as both a way of deepening a friend-
ship and an indication that a more intimate friendship had developed:
Now that we’re getting a little bit closer, she’s thinking about coming up to our
hometown because there are the two of us that she’s friends with now that are
from the same place. So just meeting our families and coming up and visiting
and meeting our other friends that don’t go to [our university], so that’s, I think
that’s like just getting a little closer, so she’s going to meet more of the people
that we’re into and just get a little bit more integrated I guess into our circle.
Contribution of New Friendships to University Adjustment
The interview responses provided a more detailed picture of the specific
processes by which new friendships contributed to students’ adjustment.
One of the ways in which friendship aided in adjustment was by providing
a sense of belonging and companionship. Students talked about how their
new friends provided a sense of belonging and helped ward off loneliness
by keeping them from being alone:
I think she’s [new friend] made me feel happier with being here. The first few
months I was crying a lot. I still do a bit because I miss home a lot. Like her and
all those people that I hang out with, they don’t make me feel as lost being here
at university. They make me feel like I have some sense of belonging, like I’m
not just here and no one notices me, and if I wasn’t here it wouldn’t make a dif-
ference, but there is a reason that I am here and I do have people looking out for
me and I do have people caring for me here at university.
Interviewees also indicated that their new friends had provided tangible
assistance in several ways, by doing things such as helping them with school
work or informing them about clubs and services available on campus:
You can also like rely on those friends for help in like your other work. Like,
if you’re in classes together . . . and you don’t understand, they’re probably
willing to help show you how to do it, do the work and like teach you if you
don’t understand it.
Friends were also important sources of advice about how to make the
most out of their new environment:
He actually helps me get involved a lot more, he actually encourages me to
get involved with more clubs and sports a lot more and stuff like that, so
that’s just one thing I didn’t really do much back home, I didn’t get involved
in school sports and clubs and stuff, so he encourages me to do that.
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The students we interviewed indicated that they often looked at their new
friends as models of appropriate behavior in their new university setting:
It sort of gives me like the attitude to do work, like when these people are
doing work I have nothing else to do so I might as well do work too, so that’s
one thing. And just hearing that they choose not to go out and that they
choose to do work as opposed to going out or playing sports, then I guess it’s
OK for me to do it too, so it leaves a good impression on me that these people
are working hard that I can work hard too so that’s one huge adjustment.
New friends also assisted students in expanding their social networks on
campus. Forming one new friendship often led to meeting other people, and
through that forming other friendships:
It seems like they are really aware of the fact that we live off campus so they
always invite us to their Res and stuff and invite us out with their friends so that
we can do stuff, and I have done that a few times, and so they have helped I
think by the fact that they live in residence and they introduce us to people.
Interview respondents also talked about how their new friends helped
them manage the stress they were experiencing as they began their studies
at university. One way in which new friends helped reduce stress was by
providing fun and enjoyment, which acted as a distraction from the stress
of academic work:
They [friends] are very distracting, which is always a good thing because espe-
cially with the workload piling up, it’s nice to have someone knock on my door
and say, let’s just go get food, and it’s fun because if I didn’t have someone to
hang out with and things, I probably would be going crazy because I am really
busy so it’s nice to have people show up and do fun things with.
Several of those interviewed indicated that new friends helped reduce
stress by giving them encouragement when they were experiencing diffi-
culties with their school work or when they were experiencing self-doubt
about their ability to be successful at university:
She makes it easier by talking to me, by letting me know that I am in uni-
versity, that I’ve basically done well throughout my life to get to university.
She boosted my confidence to say “You are here. Look how far you have
made it,” when I am in a down spot or am like “this is too much work. . . .
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A number of interviewees indicated that initially, they had felt that there
was something wrong with them when they had difficulty coping with the
transition to university. This tended to exacerbate the stress they were expe-
riencing. Talking with their university friends helped assuage these feel-
ings, because they learned that others were experiencing some of the same
kinds of feelings. This normalized the difficulties students were having:
I just think it’s just that I never thought there was anyone like me, so I just
feel more comfortable that I am not as weird, sorry, abnormal in a way that I
found people similar to me, so I feel more comfortable now and less insecure
with myself so I know that there are people like me.
Perhaps the most important way in which friends helped was by simply
listening and providing a sympathetic ear when students were experiencing
It’s nice to know that when you are upset, there is someone to talk to because
university is kind of scary and just think of the whole new chapter of your life
and just having someone else with you is nice.
The results of both the quantitative and qualitative components of the
study indicate a strong relationship between new friendships that emerging
adults form when they begin their university studies and their adjustment to
the university environment. The quality of new friendships formed in the
1st year was a significant predictor of adjustment, even when preuniversity
levels of adjustment (assessed by a measure of depression taken in August,
before students started classes) were controlled for in the regression analy-
ses. New friendships were most strongly related to social adjustment, as
might be expected, but also showed a significant relationship with students’
feelings of attachment to university, and even their academic adjustment.
The results of the qualitative component of the study provide insight into
why the relationship between quality of friendships and adjustment exists.
The responses of the students who were interviewed indicates that, as sug-
gested by Richey and Richey (1980), Tokuno (1986), and Weiss (1974),
friends fulfill a number of key functions in helping students accommodate
to their new environment. They provide a sense of belonging, give both
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emotional support and tangible assistance when needed, offer advice and
counsel, and serve as role models with regard to appropriate behavior in the
campus environment. New friends are also a source of fun and enjoyment,
balancing out the many stressors that students experience in adjusting to
university life.
In addition to these functions, the qualitative results indicated that new
friends serve additional important functions not often mentioned in the
friendship literature. Our data indicated that students’ new friends played an
important role in introducing individuals to other potential friends and
expanding their social networks. This is likely a critical function in situa-
tions where an individual is encountering a new social environment and
does not have an established network of friends. Another function served by
new friendships has to do with the fact that for many students, the difficul-
ties they experience in the 1st year are unexpected (Jackson, Pancer, Pratt,
& Hunsberger, 2000; Pancer, Hunsberger, Pratt, & Alisat, 2000). Students’
often romanticized expectations of how wonderful university life will be
tends to conflict with the reality of the transition and its inherent hardships.
One of the consequences of these violated expectations is that students may
feel that there is something wrong with them. When they find that their new
friends are experiencing similar kinds of problems, this helps normalize the
experience, and allows students to feel (as one of our respondents indi-
cated) less “weird, sorry, abnormal.
The literature on life transitions suggests that “pretransition” factors can
play an important role in determining the course that adjustment will take dur-
ing the transition (Schlossberg, 1981). The present research explored the impact
of one such pretransition factor—students’ openness to new friendships.
Our results suggest that openness to new friendships may have an impor-
tant influence on the development of friendships in a new social environment.
Individuals who were less open to making new friends (measured before they
even started their studies) did indeed make fewer friends at university and had
new friendships that were of poorer quality than did individuals who were more
open to new friendships. This, in turn, had an impact on how they adjusted to
university. This was corroborated by responses that interviewees made in the
qualitative interview portion of the study. For example, one respondent talked
about how she had “shut myself off from meeting new people” and conse-
quently was very lonely during her first 2 months at university.
Openness to new friendships was more prevalent in students who planned
to live in residence during their 1st year at university than in students who
planned to live at home. This greater openness to new friendships appeared to
translate into differences in the number of new friendships that students
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formed. Compared to commuter students, individuals in residence had made
more than twice as many new friends by November of their 1st year. Our
results also showed other important differences between residence and com-
muter students with regard to their new friendships. New friendships appeared
to play a more significant role in the adjustment of residence students than
they did in the adjustment of commuter students, as evidenced by the fact that
there was a stronger relationship between the quality of new friendships and
adjustment for residence students than there was for commuter students.
Emerging adulthood is a time when many individuals will make one or
more transitions to a new social environment, as they start university, begin
new jobs, and move from one community to another. The present research
suggests that the development of friendships in these new environments
will be an important determinant of how individuals will adjust to their new
situation. It suggests, too, that there are things that can be done to facilitate
the formation of friendships in these new settings. For example, Pancer
et al. (2005) and Pratt et al. (2000) developed a program that focused on the
development of friendships and social support during the transition to uni-
versity. Students participating in the intervention met weekly in small
groups for the first 9 weeks of their 1st year of university to discuss things
such as how to make new friends at university and how to balance their
“old” and “new” friendships. Evaluation of the program indicated that com-
pared with individuals randomly assigned to a control group, those in the
program had higher levels of social support and adjusted significantly better
to university. Such interventions may be particularly beneficial for com-
muter students, who appear to be at greater risk than residence students for
poor adjustment outcomes.
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Vanessa M. Buote is a doctoral student in social psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University,
Canada. Her research interests include interpersonal relationships, university adjustment, and
body image.
S. Mark Pancer is a professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University with research inter-
ests in life transitions in late adolescence and early adulthood, and community and civic
engagement of young people.
Michael W. Pratt is a professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a develop-
mental psychologist who has done extensive work in the area of parental socialization of cog-
nitive and social development, as well as life-span work on moral development.
Gerald Adams is a professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at
the University of Guelph, Canada. His interests include college student development, identity
formation, student achievement, family and school influences, and adolescent development
and social problems.
Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch is the director of the School of Social Work, Memorial University,
Canada. Previously, he was the founding director of the Office of First Year Studies at the
University of Guelph, where he designed, implemented, and managed a range of academic and
student services aimed at helping new undergraduate students make a successful university
transition. Current interests focus on rural-urban differences in the transition to university.
Janet Polivy is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada.
She is a clinical psychologist known for her research on dieting and other risk factors for
eating disorder development in adolescents.
Maxine Gallander Wintre, a professor of psychology at York University, Canada, is a clini-
cal developmental psychologist with interests in relationships between parents and their late-
adolescent offspring, which has been extended to their association with the transition to
university and more recently to university graduation and success, decisions affecting leaving
university, and the transition to the army.
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by Shannon Dobson on October 18, 2008 http://jar.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... During the pandemic, first-year students, as well as international ones were among the most vulnerable categories [1,4,30]. Indeed, university social connectedness, weakened during the pandemic, is significant in favouring the adjustment to an unfamiliar environment [31,32]. Therefore, several educational institutions have prioritized preventative approaches, through the enhancement of existing well-being centres and psychoeducation programmes [33,34], along with the implementation of specific digital interventions [35][36][37]. ...
... Indeed, the first year of university can be a particularly lonely time for undergraduate students both in Italy and the UK [68][69][70]. Notably, university friendships are significant in favouring the adjustment to an unfamiliar social environment, thus representing a support for international or off/campus students [31,32]. A link between the opportunity to gain and carry out specific social skills and the likelihood of psychological symptoms was highlighted also in our study [71,72]. ...
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Introduction: COVID-19 restrictions introduced several changes in university academic and social experience. Self-isolation and online teaching have amplified students’ mental health vulnerability. Thus, we aimed to explore feelings and perspectives about the impact of the pandemic on mental health, comparing students from Italy and the UK. Methods: Data were collected from the qualitative portion of “the CAMPUS study”, longitudinally assessing mental health of students at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) and the University of Surrey (UK). We conducted in-depth interviews and thematically analysed the transcripts. Results: The explanatory model was developed from four themes identified across 33 interviews: anxiety exacerbated by COVID-19; putative mechanisms leading to poor mental health; the most vulnerable subgroups; and coping strategies. Generalised and social anxiety resulted from COVID-19 restrictions by being associated with loneliness, excessive time online, unhealthy management of time and space and poor communication with the university. Freshers, international students, and people on the extremes of the introversion/extroversion spectrum, were identified as vulnerable, while effective coping strategies included taking advantage of free time, connection with family and mental health support. The impact of COVID-19 was mostly related to academic issues by students from Italy, whereas to the drastic loss of social connectedness by the UK sample. Conclusions: Mental health support for students has an essential role, and measures that encourage communication and social connectedness are likely to be beneficial.
... In addition, the sheer size of the university creates feelings of anonymity, "just a number" (Kanji et al., 2022, p.171), and "nobody cares" (Peel, 2000, p.22) for the students. These feelings of anonymity prevent students from creating the interactions necessary to foster belonging (Baumeister & Leary, 1995), while the feelings of institutional ambivalence can be perceived as a lack of institutional commitment to students (Braxton & Hirschy, 2005) The rite-of-passage view of first-year transition theorises that the separation stage inherently disrupts many students' existing friendship circles, and friendships at university facilitate the students to achieve the incorporation stage (Buote et al., 2007;Kanji et al., 2022;Tinto, 1988). In qualitative studies, students spoke about how those friendships connected them with "people who are just like me" (Buote et al., 2007, p.685) and "people who are going through the same stuff" (Denovan & Macaskill, 2013, p.1016, demonstrating the effect of friendships in normalising the first-year challenges. ...
... In literature, other first-year students spoke about spending time together as a critical factor in fostering friendship growth through the opportunity to discover mutual interests and to develop trust and intimacy (Buote et al., 2007). For Carla, going to on-campus bars served as an occasion to spend time with potential friends, and the changing alert levels hampered this during the pandemic. ...
In New Zealand, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived soon after the 2020 academic year began, posing additional challenges for first-year students navigating the transition to university while adapting to the pandemic. This thesis explores the experience of first-year students as they navigate this dual challenge. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), three participants from Massey University Albany Campus were interviewed to describe the pandemic's impact on their wellbeing using the Te Whare Tapa Whā model, and its impact on their university experience and day-today learning. Analysis revealed four themes. In Disruption, the participants struggled with the very concept of a pandemic, causing intangible losses and grief. Wellbeing focussed on the pandemic's impact on participants' physical and mental health. The participants demonstrated divergent pathways to mental ill-health over time. Lockdown with Others highlighted how lockdown brought the household members' different lifestyle needs into conflict and created distractions to the participants' studies. Lastly, Studying during the Pandemic covers the participants' initial adjustment to the university and their experience during Auckland's two lockdowns. The participants reported less collaboration with others and reduced motivation when studying online. This thesis is the first to examine the collision of the pandemic and first-year university experience in New Zealand. The results highlight the pandemic's lasting impact on the participants' worldview. As with other research, the participants had unrealistic expectations of university. They attributed the failure to experience their idealised university life to the pandemic, perceiving their university experience as not a genuine one. Particular findings of note include the unintended impact of the university's grade-adjustment policy reducing student motivation for learning; the impact of sleeping patterns during the lockdown on 2 household dynamics; and the participants' framing of physical exercise during the lockdown as a space-claiming action. Practice recommendations based on these findings include clear communication of academic expectations at university to first-year students; incorporating independent learning into the core first-year curriculum; and avoiding technology solutionism in online learning by positioning authentic relationships between faculty and students, and between the students, as the basis of the student experience.
... These impairments may be particularly troublesome for young adults transitioning into adulthood through a college or university, a developmental period characterized by psychosocial adjustment, typically paired with a contextual transition into a new environment where many young adults are away from home for the first time (Khalis et al., 2018;Schulenberg et al., 2004). For college students in general, peer relationships and social networks are well known to be crucial support systems during this transitional experience (Buote et al., 2007;Dennis et al., 2005). Not surprisingly, students with ADHD find the transition to a university or college more challenging than their non-ADHD peers, and report more academic problems such as lower grades, lower levels of social skills, and lower self-esteem (Heiligenstein et al., 1999;Shaw-Zirt et al., 2005). ...
Objective: Among untreated adults, functional impairments associated with ADHD are widespread and cumulative, and can include social, educational, and professional impairments, increased risk of accidents and mortality, and reduced quality of life. Here, we review the most prominent functional impairments in adults with ADHD and summarize evidence describing the potential role of medication in improving outcomes. Method: Articles related to the search terms "ADHD," "adult," and functional impairments were identified through Google Scholar and PubMed and selected for inclusion based on four criteria: strength of evidence, relevance to current challenges in adult ADHD, impact on the field, and recency of the results. Results: We identified 179 papers to support the conclusions on the relationship between ADHD and functional impairments, and the impact of pharmacological therapy on functional impairments. Conclusion: This narrative review provides evidence that pharmacological treatment can be effective in minimizing not only the symptoms of ADHD, but its functional consequences as well.
... Concerning this, forming positive relationships between university students and their peers is crucial in establishing their identity in the university environment [26]. In addition, these social ties allow a successful adaptation to university life at a social and academic level [27][28][29]. In fact, these friendships are more profound, can replace family support, and reduce the likelihood of dropping out of college [30]. ...
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Background Positive relationships are one of the most important components within the PERMA model since they facilitate the development of the other components. However, in the scientific literature, few instruments have been identified with solid psychometric properties that measure positive relationships in university students and adequately represent the construct. Therefore, the study aims to develop and study the psychometric properties of the PRI + 19 positive relationships scale through Confirmatory Factor Analysis, factorial invariance, and relationship-based validity with other variables. Method A pilot sample of 201 university students (43.8% men and 56.2 women) between the ages of 18 and 34 (M = 20.9; SD = 2.74) was collected. The confirmatory sample consisted of 450 university students of both sexes (30.2% men and 69.8 women) between the ages of 18 and 35 years (M = 21.9; SD = 3.15). Along with the PRI + scale, other instruments were applied to measure satisfaction with life and psychological well-being. Results In the pilot study, the Exploratory Factor Analysis showed the presence of three factors that could explain 54.5% of the items. In the confirmatory study, the Confirmatory Factor Analysis showed that the model of three dimensions related to 19 items presents the best adjustment indexes compared to other models (χ2 = 541.61; df = 149; CFI = 0.97; TLI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.077 [IC90% 0.070 ‒ 0.084]). The scale also showed evidence of being strictly invariant for the groups of men and women. Finally, it was shown that the development of the positive bonds dimension positively predicts psychological well-being (0.35) and life satisfaction (0.20). The positive relationship management dimension positively predicts psychological well-being (0.28) and life satisfaction (0.29). Similarly, the integration dimension positively predicts psychological well-being (0.48) and life satisfaction (0.52). Conclusion This study suggests that the PRIM + 19 scale is a useful tool from which valid and reliable interpretations of positive relationships in Peruvian university students can be obtained.
... People respond negatively when their need to belong is unfulfilled. For example, college students often feel homesick and lonely when they first start college, but not if they belong to a cohesive, socially satisfying group (Buote et al., 2007). People who are accepted members of a group tend to feel happier and more satisfied. ...
These materials will help students and instructors alike explore human behavior and how it is shaped and impacted by both traditional and non-traditional paradigms. This text will also support the reader in having a deeper understanding of how the environment, in all of its complexity, can affect individuals, families, groups, and communities. It is my hope that the information contained in this book will help you, as a future social worker, approach client systems with empathy, understanding, and a compassionate curiosity that allows for comprehensive assessment, individualized approaches to treatment, and continuity of care. Content in his book is adapted was from • Kennedy, Vera. (2018). Beyond race: cultural influences on human social life. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License • “Beyond Race: Cultural Influences on Human Social Life” by Vera Kennedy under the license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. • Social Problems by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. • Introduction to Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies by Miliann Kang, Donovan Lessard, Laura Heston, Sonny Nordmarken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, • Principles of Social Psychology by University of Minnesota under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, • McAdams, D. P. (2019). Self and identity. In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF publishers. Retrieved from Self and Identity by Dan P. McAdams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. • Immigrant and Refugee Families, 2nd Ed. by Jaime Ballard, Elizabeth Wieling, Catherine Solheim, and Lekie Dwanyen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
... In this regard, the literature distinguishes two types of student relationships [53]: assistance networks, targeting the exchange of knowledge; and friendship networks, associated with emotional support. It is evident that students with greater social support networks are better adapted to the university context [54]. It has also been observed that if social support is increased, academic stress decreases [55]. ...
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Academic and social-emotional experiences during the university years influence students’ academic achievement and emotional well-being. However, there is insufficient evidence on how the numerical representation of same-gendered persons affects such experiences in each group. The aim of this research was to analyze university experiences within degree programs where there is a large gender gap in students enrolled. The study is descriptive and cross-sectional and uses a mixed approach. An adaptation of the QVAr (questionnaire on academic experiences-reduced version) was administered to 726 students enrolled in degree programs with a large gender gap. Additionally, ten individual interviews were carried out with students belonging to minority gender groups. The obtained results show that, in these degree programs, students’ adaptation and coexistence processes are different, especially in interpersonal relationships between the majority and minority groups. Women in the minority require support from their female classmates in the early years of the degree program. Men in the minority, however, feel like part of the group from the start.
... One important element of Hays' (1989) definition is that the benefits generated by friendship's are, in essence, the product of repeated, positive, and ongoing communicative activity. As voluntary relationships, friendship has the potential to bring tremendous support and satisfaction that people may not gain from family or other relationships (Buote et al., 2007). ...
Frenemies, partners who appear to be friends on the surface, yet purport to dislike one another, have received less attention in the scholarly literature than friends and enemies. To explore the discordant and complicated relationship known as frenemyship, 72 undergraduates completed an open-ended online survey that was coded using inductive thematic analysis. Findings indicate that frenemies play a significant role in people’s lives and represent not just a behavioral form (e.g., relational aggression), but an independent relational type characterized by disguised disdain. Results indicate that people maintain frenemyships because relational benefits (e.g., saving face, maintaining social networks, and sustaining potential instrumental connections) outweigh negative ramifications of dealing with the relationship or terminating it. From these findings, we propose a definition of frenemyship as a discordant relationship in which one or both parties engage in cordial interactions, while simultaneously evaluating the other in a distrustful, unfriendly, even hostile, manner.
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Kecemasan sosial adalah suatu kondisi seorang individu yang mengalami ketakutan, disertai kecemasan dalam menghadapi interaksi dan performansi di lingkungan sosial. Pada penelitian ini ditemukan bahwa terdapat mahasiswa yang mengalami kecemasan sosial, padahal salah satu tugas perkembangan remaja akhir (mahasiswa) adalah menjalin hubungan yang matang dengan teman sebaya, dan pengungkapan diri menjadi salah satu faktor yang menunjang kelancaran hubungan tersebut. Namun belum dapat dipastikan apakah adanya hubungan antara kecemasan sosial dan pengungkapan diri. Oleh karena itu tujuan dari penelitian adalah menentukan hubungan antara kecemasan sosial dengan pengungkapan diri dalam pertemanan pada mahasiswi universitas “X”, melalui metode kuantitatif. Hipotesis penelitian adalah terdapat hubungan antara kecemasan sosial dengan pengungkapan diri dalam pertemanan. Sampel yang digunakan sebanyak 106 orang dengan menggunakan metode pengumpulan sampel accidental sampling. Peneliti menggunakan alat ukur SAS-A (Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents) oleh La Greca dan Lopez (1998) yang diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia oleh Rizkadina (2016) dan alat ukur yang dibuat oleh Miranda (2021) berdasarkan teori pengungkapan diri Wheeless & Grotz (1976). Kedua alat ukur telah diuji reabilitasnya dengan koefisien 0,930 untuk skala kecemasan sosial dan 0,927 untuk skala pengungkapan diri. Melalui teknik analisis rank spearman ditemukan bahwa tidak ada hubungan yang signifikan antara kecemasan sosial dengan pengungkapan diri dalam pertemanan, penelitian selanjutnya diharapkan untuk dapat mempertimbangkan variabel lain yang mungkin memiliki hubungan dengan kedua variabel seperti kesepian atau tipe kepribadian.
Incoming students have many difficulties adjusting to college, and selecting appropriate measures to effectively screen them is indispensable, especially in China, where there is insufficient research in this area. To enrich domestic research, this study seeks to examine psychometric characteristics and develop a computerized adaptive version of the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ-CAT) based on a sample of Chinese students. Under the framework of item response theory, the item bank of student adaptation to college was formulated after uni-dimensionality testing, model comparison, item fit testing, and local independence testing. Subsequently, a CAT simulation, including three termination rules, was performed using real data to evaluate and verify the SACQ-CAT. The results showed reliability values exceeding 0.90 when participants' latent traits were between -4 and 3, covering majority of the subjects. The SACQ-CAT administered an average of fewer than 10 items to participants compared to 67 items on the original scale. The correlation coefficient between latency estimated by the SACQ-CAT and the SACQ is greater than .85, whereas the correlation coefficient with the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90) scores ranges from -.33 to -.55 (p < .001). The SACQ-CAT largely reduced the number of items administered to the participants and avoided losing measurement precision.
Contemporary university curricula increasingly encourage students to develop peer academic support relationships, especially first-year students who are facing the transition from teacher-oriented to self-directed learning. Previous studies have identified spatial layout as a factor impacting peer relationships by comparing the effects of different spatial layout categories. More insights into the quantitative correlation between spatial layout and peer academic support relationships will meaningfully complement the existing findings. This paper therefore uses spatial configuration and spatial proximity as quantitative measures and adopts a quasi-experimental approach to investigate the effects of spatial layout on peer academic support relationships in first-year university students. Data were collected from a sample of first-year students enrolled in the School of Architecture at South China University of Technology. We use longitudinal data to measure and compare the peer academic support relationships as well as the corresponding spatial layout. The results support the importance of the spatial layout of the learning space for the development of peer academic support relationships. In addition, suggestions for university administrators and architects are proposed.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Bumper stickers reading "Friends can be good medicine!" were distributed by the California Department of Mental Health in 1981 as part of a statewide health promotion initiative (California Department of Mental Health, 1981). The objectives of the initiative were to increase awareness of the health-promoting influence of supportive relationships and to encourage personal involvement providing support to others. Although the ultimate success of this project is unknown, its implementation reflects the degree to which a link between social support and health has become part of our belief system. Correlations between social support and health outcomes have been found in a range of contexts and using a variety of methods (for recent reviews, see Broadhead et al. Although links between social support and health are consistently found, our understanding of the nature of this relation remains limited. A problem in past research was that social support was conceptualized unidimensionally, although it was operationalized in many different ways (e.g., marital status, community involvement, availability of confidants). More recent efforts have analyzed social support into component functions. Theorists differ somewhat with respect to the specific functions served by social support, but most conceptualizations include emotional sustenance, self-esteem building, provision of information and feedback, and tangible assistance (e.g.. Once support is defined in terms of its functions, it is possible to generate hypotheses concerning the psychological processes through which social support has its effects. Although clear theoretical formulations of the helping functions served by relationships arc crucial in the generation of hypotheses, these predictions cannot be empirically tested without appropriate assessment instruments. As described in House and Kahn's (1985) recent review, a number of social support measures have been developed. The measures differ widely in their implicit models of social support, some assessing number of supporters, others tapping frequency of supportive acts, and still others measuring degree of satisfaction with support. A number of problems have plagued these measurement efforts. At the theoretical level, the authors of social support measures have rarely articulated the assumptions underlying their instruments. For example, if a measure assesses the number of supportive individuals, the assumption is that better outcomes are associated with the quantity of support sources. If a measure taps satisfaction with support, the assumption is that better outcomes are associated with the perception that support is adequate for one's needs, regardless of tile number of supporters. Although these differences are rarely articulated, different research questions are posed and answered as a function of the manner in which social support is assessed. Inconsistencies in the literature nay be related to differences in the aspects of social support that are assessed in different studies (see Cohen & Wills, 1985).
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Friends foster self-esteem and a sense of well-being, socialize one another, and support one another in coping with developmental transitions and life stress. Friends engage in different activities with one another across the life span, but friendship is conceived similarly by children and adults. Friends and friendships, however, are not all alike. The developmental significance of having friends depends on the characteristics of the friends, especially whether the friends are antisocial or socially withdrawn. Outcomes also depend on whether friendships are supportive and intimate or fractious and unstable. Among both children and adults, friendships have clear-cut developmental benefits at times but are mixed blessings at other times.
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This research established the psychometric properties of 2 friendship questionnaires; the McGill Friendship Questionnaire–Respondent's Affection (MFQ–RA) taps respondents' feelings for a friend and friendship satisfaction, and the McGill Friendship Questionnaire–Friend's Function (MFQ–FF) taps respondents' assessments of the degree to which a friend fulfills 6 friendship functions (stimulating companionship, help, intimacy, reliable alliance, self-validation, and emotional security). Ss were 227 junior-college students (aged 16–21 yrs). Factor analysis supported the subscale structure of each questionnaire. The subscales showed high internal consistency, covaried with the duration of being a best friend and with a self-esteem subscale regarding close friends, but not with other self-esteem measures. Women reported higher positive feelings for their friend than did men and evaluated the friend higher on friendship functions. Finally, positive feelings and satisfaction covaried with each friendship function subscale. It is concluded that the MFQ–RA and the MFQ–FF, though brief and easy to administer, provide reliable and valid assessments of friendship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In this study friendsickness (preoccupation with and concern for the loss of or change in precollege friendships) is seen as a significant source of distress for college students, affecting college adjustment. A short‐term longitudinal study of college students (N = 70) examined associations between friendsickness, precollege predictors, and dimensions of college adjustment 10 weeks into the first semester. As hypothesized, friendsickness was associated with precollege social concerns, discrepancy between precollege expectations and college experiences, more precollege friends in the college social network, and loneliness and poor self‐esteem in college. Implications for precollege prevention of and college intervention efforts for friendsickness are discussed.
The CES-D scale is a short self-report scale designed to measure depressive symptomatology in the general population. The items of the scale are symptoms associated with depression which have been used in previously validated longer scales. The new scale was tested in household interview surveys and in psychiatric settings. It was found to have very high internal consistency and adequate test- retest repeatability. Validity was established by pat terns of correlations with other self-report measures, by correlations with clinical ratings of depression, and by relationships with other variables which support its construct validity. Reliability, validity, and factor structure were similar across a wide variety of demographic characteristics in the general population samples tested. The scale should be a useful tool for epidemiologic studies of de pression.
A behavioural examination of friendship development is presented. First, the construction of the Friend Observation Checklist (FOC), a self-report behaviour checklist for assessing friendship behavioural exchange, is described. Second, a twelve-week longitudinal study of friendship development is reported. Seventy male and female college students, who were just beginning their first term of school, used the FOC to track the behaviours occurring in newly developing friendships. A three-month follow-up was also conducted. Dyads which successfully developed into close friendships showed different behavioural and attitudinal trends from dyads which did not become close friends. Both the dyads' breadth of interaction and the intimacy level of their interaction were positively correlated with ratings of friendship intensity. As the friendships progressed, the intimacy level of dyadic interaction accounted for an increasing percentage of the variance in friendship ratings, beyond that accounted for by sheer quantity of interaction. Dyadic behaviour patterns at the end of the fall school term were good predictors of friendship status three months later. The results were interpreted as supporting Altman E Taylor's social penetration theory, and confirming the value of a behavioural focus in studying friendship.
Expectations about university and subsequent adjustment in the first year were examined in a longitudinal study of the transition to university. Two hundred and twenty-six students (158 females and 68 males) completed a preuniversity questionnaire in the summer prior to beginning university, and another questionnaire in February of their first year. The preuniversity questionnaire contained measures that assessed perceived stress and the amount and sources of information students had about university, as well as open-ended questions concerning their expectations about university. Responses to the open-ended questions were coded for integrative complexity of thought. The February questionnaire contained measures of adjustment to university. Results indicated that students with more complex expectations about university tended to adjust better to stressful circumstances than did students who had simpler expectations. The stress-buffering properties of complex expectations are discussed, as are some of the factors that may contribute to more complex thinking about university.
This article discusses recent programs and procedures based at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, designed to help students' transition from high school to university. Students are poorly prepared for university, and the meagre assistance they get from pre-university orientations, or even from longer-term programs such as University 101, does little to help them deal with the many changes they face when they begin university life. The research shows that with due attention to the personal and social difficulties that students encounter and the provision of appropriate social support, students can learn to manage the stresses of university life and thrive at university. The current attrition rates of 30 to 40 percent that most universities seem willing to endure can be readily lowered if university administrators are willing to devote the resources necessary to prepare students in a more comprehensive way for university and assist them in the transition. The costs of continuing not to do so, in terms of personal distress and lost time and resources, are obviously substantial. More attention, however, needs to be given to the kind of environment in which we place our young first-year students. (Contains 2 tables, and 1 figure.)