Prior research has characterized friendships, particularly long-distance friendships, as fragile. A turning point analysis compared changes in friendship levels for 100 college students in geographically-close (GC) and long-distance (LD) same-sex friendships. Results indicated that friendship level and commitment level are strongly and positively associated. Moreover, friendship level and proximity are interdependent with several categories of turning points. Finally, a linear sequence of shifts in friendship level is associated with both GC and LD friends, but a nonlinear sequence that includes a shift back to the casual friendship level with recovery is more typical for LD friends. Findings highlight transformation within friendships and suggest that it may be more accurate to conceptualize friendships as flexible rather than fragile.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science