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Friendship Expectations and Friendship Evaluations:Reciprocity and Gender Effects

Youth & Society , Volume 24 (3): 299 – Mar 1, 1993


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1993 by SAGE Publications
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Friendship Expectations and Friendship Evaluations:Reciprocity and Gender Effects


FRIENDSHIP EXPECTATIONS AND FRIENDSHIP EVALUATIONS Reciprocity and Gender Effiects M. L. CLARK Virginia Commonwealth University MARLA AYERS Memphis State University Bigelow and La Gaipa (1980) proposed that children and adoles- cents develop expectations and notions about the qualities that friends should possess and are attracted to and befriend those who meet these expectations. Young children expect friends to partici- pate in mutual activities older children expect friends to be nice and kind, and adolescents expect loyalty, commitment, and empathy from friends. The developmental stages of friendship expectations progress from egocentric and concrete to empathic and abstract expectations (Bigelow & La Gaipa, 1980; Selman, 1981; Smollar & Youniss, 1982). Friendship expectations were assessed by Bigelow and La Gaipa (1975) by asking children in the first through the eighth grades to write an essay describing the behaviors and qualities that they expected from their best friends. These essays were content ana- lyzed and resulted in 16 friendship dimensions that were further reduced to those nine dimensions that appeared to show ordinality in the grade level of their onset (i.e., the first grade level at which the dimension occurs). These dimensions were loosely grouped into AUTHORS' NOTE: This study was supported
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