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Relations of Friends' Activities to Friendship Quality

NCJ Number
Journal of Early Adolescence Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2006 Pages: 365-388
Ravisha Mathur; Thomas J. Berndt
Date Published
August 2006
24 pages
This study examined age and sex differences in friends’ activities and the relation of friends’ activities to perceived friendship quality.
The overall findings of these two studies demonstrate the value of examining how friends spend their time together. Especially as friends move into adolescence, their activities involve many spheres of daily life. However, not all activities seem to contribute to adolescents’ perceptions of friendship quality. Activities that involve talking together or socializing may be most significant, but studying together or working on schoolwork and eating or going places together (maintenance activities) may also help to establish and maintain a high-quality friendship. Activities with friends are an important part of the daily lives of children and adolescents. These activities provide children and adolescents with enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment and belonging, opportunities for instruction and learning, and a context in which to explore their social worlds. In other words, what friends do together defines the substance of their friendships. One purpose of this research was to examine this hypothesis by investigating the relations of friends’ activities to perceived friendship quality. Two studies were conducted with separate randomly selected samples recruited at the same time from the same population of fourth and eighth graders. In the first study, students were individually interviewed with open-ended questions about the activities they did with their best friends. In the second study, students answered questions about the activities mentioned most often in Study 1. Tables, figures, and references