Friendships are flexible, not fragile: Turning points in geographically-close and long-distance friendships

Jennifer A.H. Becker, Amy Janan Johnson, Elizabeth A. Craig, Eileen S. Gilchrist, Michel M. Haigh, Lindsay T. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-369
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

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friendship
Students
Recovery
commitment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Becker, Jennifer A.H. ; Johnson, Amy Janan ; Craig, Elizabeth A. ; Gilchrist, Eileen S. ; Haigh, Michel M. ; Lane, Lindsay T. / Friendships are flexible, not fragile : Turning points in geographically-close and long-distance friendships. In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2009 ; Vol. 26, No. 4. pp. 347-369.
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Friendships are flexible, not fragile : Turning points in geographically-close and long-distance friendships. / Becker, Jennifer A.H.; Johnson, Amy Janan; Craig, Elizabeth A.; Gilchrist, Eileen S.; Haigh, Michel M.; Lane, Lindsay T.

In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 26, No. 4, 01.06.2009, p. 347-369.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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