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Transitions in relationship style from adolescence to young adulthood

Abstract

Literature on friendships of adolescents and young adults suggests important gender and age-related differences. In a study of transitions in relationship style from middle adolescence (high school) to late adolescence (college), 300 students described their relationship with the person who was closest to them, either same or other sex. Four relationship styles were characteristic: integrated (high friendly and high intimate), intimate (high intimate and low friendly), friendly (high friendly and low intimate), and uninvolved (low intimate and low friendly). Women's more intimate styles of relating, as compared to men's more uninvolved styles, suggested that women developed earlier competence at intimate relating than did men. Viewed as particularly important were the college women's close friendships with those of the same gender, an experience uncharacteristic of adolescent men in high school and college. Results were discussed in terms of Erikson's stages of development and Sullivan's concept of the chum.

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Received Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Colorado. Major interests are relationship style, intimacy development, and transitions to adulthood.

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Fischer, J.L. Transitions in relationship style from adolescence to young adulthood. J Youth Adolescence 10, 11–23 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02088419

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02088419

Keywords

  • High School
  • Young Adult
  • Health Psychology
  • School Psychology
  • Young Adulthood