, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 671-695

Close relationships in adolescence: The case of the kibbutz

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In this article, studies on close relationships among kibbutz adolescents are reviewed. The case of the kibbutz is examined in terms of the balance between relationship with parents and relationship with peers in the kibbutz as compared to the city and moshav, as well as within the kibbutz between communal vs. familial sleeping arrangements. The reviewed studies address three issues: Intimacy with a best friend; self-disclosure and emotional expression toward peers, parents, and figures outside the family; and peer group relations. Studies on intimacy in young adults, married adults, and parent-daughter relationships are considered as pointing to the possible consequences of the patterns observed during adolescence. Differences in intimacy and emotional expression among adolescents in the different settings are interpreted in terms of the effects of structural variables (sleeping arrangement, degree of contact with parents and peers) being a marker for greater peer involvement. It is argued that adolescents are likely to maintain their more inhibited pattern of expression of intimacy into adulthood when they stay in the same setting. Change in the level of expressed intimacy is likely to occur in adulthood, with change of setting. Based on cross-sectional studies, it is speculated that it is possible to close developmental gaps in intimacy at a later stage, thus supporting a situational-based pattern of intimacy and closeness.

Received Ph.D. from Cornell University. Research interests include friendship, cross cultural studies, and attachment.
Received Ph.D. from York University, Toronto, Canada. Current research interests are in relatedness and loneliness and in psychotherapy research.