Effects of Gender and Psychosocial Factors on “Friends with Benefits” Relationships Among Young Adults
- 4.4k Downloads
Friends with benefits relationships (FWB) are a blend of friendship and physical intimacy outside of a committed romantic relationship. This study examined young adults’ (n = 889) engagement in, and reactions to, a FWB relationship in the past year based on their gender, psychological distress, alcohol use, and relationship attitudes. Men (54.3%) were more likely than women (42.9%) to report at least one FWB relationship and both men and women reported that FWB relationships were associated with more positive emotional reactions than negative ones although this difference was larger for men. Greater alcohol use was related to engaging in a FWB relationship and this relationship was stronger for women. Further, thoughtfulness about relationship decisions moderated the relationship between alcohol use and engaging in FWB relationships, and again this moderation effect was stronger for women than men. Young adults with more psychological distress and who felt constrained in the FWB relationship were more likely to report negative emotional reactions. Implications for psychoeducational programs and future research are offered.
KeywordsCasual sex Friends with benefits Romantic relationships Psychological well-being
- Braithwaite, S., Delevi, R., & Fincham, F. D. (in press). Romantic relationships and the physical and mental health of college students. Personal Relationships.Google Scholar
- Fielder, R. L., & Carey, M. P. (2009). Predictors and consequences of sexual “hookups” among college students: A short-term prospective study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-008-9448-4.
- Fincham, F. D., Stanley, S. M., & Rhoades, G. (in press). Relationship education in emerging adulthood: Problems and prospects. In F. D. Fincham & M. Cui (Eds.), Romantic relationships in emerging adulthood. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Glenn, N., & Marquardt, E. (2001). Hooking up, hanging out, and hoping for Mr. Right: College women on dating and mating today. New York: Institute for American Values.Google Scholar
- Hoebel, B. G., Rada, P. V., Mark, G. P., & Pothos, E. N. (1999). Neural systems for reinforcement and inhibition of eating: Relevance to eating, addiction, and depression. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 558–572). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- McGinty, K., Knox, D., & Zusman, M. E. (in press). Friends with benefits: Woman want “friends,” men want “benefits”. College Student Journal. Google Scholar
- Owen, J. J., Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., & Fincham, F. (2008). “Hooking up” among college students: Demographic and psychosocial correlates. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-008-9414-1.
- Pearson, M., Stanley, S. M., & Kline, G. H. (2005). Within my reach (pp. 61–85). Greenwood, CO: PREP for Individuals, Inc.Google Scholar
- Puentes, J., Knox, D., & Zusman, M. E. (2008). Participants in “friends with benefits” relationships. College Student Journal, 42, 176–180.Google Scholar
- Saunders, J. B., Aasland, O. G., Babor, T. F., de la Fuente, J. R., & Grant, M. (1993). Development of the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT): WHO collaborative project on early detection of persons with harmful alcohol consumption-II. Addiction, 88, 791–804.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stanley, S. M. (2002). What is it with men and commitment, anyway? Keynote address to the 6th annual Smart Marriages conference. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Stanley, S. M., Rhoades, G. H., & Willliams, T. (2007). Future Relationship Confidence Scale. Unpublished measure, University of Denver.Google Scholar
- Waite, L. J., Browning, D., Doherty, W. J., Gallagher, M., Luo, Y., & Stanley, S. M. (2002). Does divorce make people happy? Findings from a study of unhappy marriages. New York: Institute for American Values.Google Scholar