SAGE Journal Articles
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Almquist, Y.B., Östberg, V., Rostila, M., Edling, C., & Rydgren, J. (2014). Friendship network characteristics and psychological well-being in late adolescence: Exploring differences by gender and gender composition. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42, 146–154.
Aims: The aim of the present study was to examine the association between friendship networks and psychological well-being among 19-year-olds. Methods: The data used was a random sample of Swedish individuals born in 1990 who answered a questionnaire in 2009–2010. Friendship networks were considered in terms of three measures of emotional support. Six statements about the individual’s emotional state were used to create a summary measure of psychological well-being. Gender and gender composition were included as potentially moderating factors. The association between friendship networks and psychological well-being was analysed by means of linear regression analysis (n = 1289). Results: The results indicate that males’ and females’ friendship networks were similar with regard to quality and trust, whereas males’ networks were characterized by less self-disclosure and a stronger preference for same-gender friendships. Gender composition did not matter for the support levels. Emotional support was associated with psychological well-being but there were gender differences: females seemed to benefit more health-wise from having high-quality (and trusting) networks. Moreover, whereas self-disclosure among males was positively linked to well-being, this was not the case among females. None of these associations were moderated by gender composition. Conclusions: In sum, friendship networks are beneficial for the psychological well-being among late adolescents, but there are some important differences according to gender.
Questions to Consider:
- Explain the four categories of emotional support.
- Describe the nature and relevance of friendship in late adolescence.
- Discuss the implications of social networks on emotional and psychological well-being.
Johnson, H.D., LaVoie, J.C., & Mahoney, M. (2001). Interparental conflict and family cohesion predictors of loneliness, social anxiety, and social avoidance in late adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16(3), 304-318.
Family environment is related to characteristics of adolescents’ personal development and social interactions. Although potentially different for males and females, decreased family cohesion and increased interparental conflict can inadvertently provide family environments that are associated with increased feelings of loneliness, which may be associated with problems in adolescents’ social interactions (i.e., social anxiety and social avoidance). Analyses of responses from 124 late adolescents revealed that feelings of loneliness were related to perceived levels of interparental conflict for males and females and decreased family cohesion for females. Furthermore, late adolescents’ feelings of social anxiety and social avoidance were related to their feelings of loneliness. The findings in this study show how deteriorated family systems may provide contexts that are associated with adolescents’ feelings of loneliness as well as their ability to engage in social interactions outside of the family system.
Questions to Consider:
- Discuss the possible impact of interparental conflict on social and personal development in late adolescence.
- Describe the relevance of low family cohesion on adolescent loneliness and social adjustment.
- Explore the implications of the study’s findings for counselors and parents of late adolescents.