Friends provide important social contexts for student development. Research has shown that adolescent friends are similar to each other in their interest and values for different school subjects. Yet our current understanding does not extend to knowing whether selection, deselection, or socialization processes are responsible for this phenomena. Without this knowledge, it is very difficult for parents, teachers, and schools to know how and when to intervene. This study investigated selection, deselection, and socialization effects on adolescent students’ task values for academic (languages, math and science, and social sciences) and non-academic subject areas (the arts and physical education). A social network approach was used to examine two waves of annual data collected from school-based networks of adolescents in the first and second years of high school education in Finland (N = 1419; female = 48.6%; mean age at first measurement point = 16). The results revealed that adolescents tended to select friends with similar levels of task values (friend selection) for the arts and physical education, but friends did not become more similar in these areas over time (friend socialization). In contrast, there was evidence of friend socialization, but not friend selection, for the academic school subjects. Across all subjects, differences in task values did not predict friendship dissolution (friend deselection). These findings suggest that to a significant extent, students make agentic choices in developing friendship with schoolmates based on their task values in non-academic subjects. The resultant friend contexts that individuals created, in turn, affected their task values in academic subject areas. These results shed light on the complexity of friend effect mechanisms on task values at the subject domain-specific level.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Berndt, T.J., & Keefe, K. (1995). Friends’ influence on adolescents’ adjustment to school. Child Development, 66, 1312–1329. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00937.x.
Bissell-Havran, J.M., & Loken, E. (2009). The role of friends in early adolescents’ academic self-competence and intrinsic value for math and English. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(1), 41–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-007-9266-3.
Brechwald, W.A., & Prinstein, M.J. (2011). Beyond homophily: A decade of advances in understanding peer influence processes. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 166–179. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00721.x.
Burns, G.N., Jasinski, D., Dunn, S., & Fletcher, D. (2013). Academic support services and career decision‐making self‐efficacy in student athletes. The Career Development Quarterly, 61(2), 161–167. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-0045.2013.00044.x.
Byrne, D. (1971). The attraction paradigm. New York: Academic Press.
Carter-Francique, A., Hart, A., & Steward, A. (2013). Black college athletes’ perceptions of academic success and the role of social support. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 6(2), 231–246. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.6.2.231.
Chow, A., Eccles, J., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2012). Task value profiles across subjects and aspirations to physical and IT-related sciences in the United States and Finland. Developmental Psychology, 48(6), 1612–1628. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030194.
Cillessen, A.H.N. (2009). Sociometric methods. In K.H. Rubin, W.M. Bukowski & B. Laursen (Eds.), Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups (pp. 82–99). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Cook, T.D., Deng, Y., & Morgano, E. (2007). Friendship influences during early adolescence: The special role of friends’ grade point average. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 17(s), 325–356. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2007.00525.x.
DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Salmela-Aro, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2013). Selecting and retaining friends on the basis of cigarette smoking similarity. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 464–473. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12017.
Dijkstra, J.K., Berger, C., & Lindenberg, S. (2011). Do physical and relational aggression explain adolescents’ friendship selection? The competing roles of network characteristics, gender, and social status. Aggressive Behavior, 37(5), 417–429. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.20402.
Dijkstra, J.K., Cillessen, A.H., & Borch, C. (2013). Popularity and adolescent friendship networks: Selection and influence dynamics. Developmental Psychology, 49(7), 1242–1252. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030098.
Duineveld, J., Parker, P.D., Ryan, R., Ciarrochi, J., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2017). The link between perceived maternal and paternal autonomy support and adolescent well-being across three major educational transitions. Developmental Psychology, 53, 1978–1994. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000364.
Eccles, J.S. (1983). Expectancies, values, and academic behaviours. In J.T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motivation (pp. 75–146). San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.
Eccles, J.S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivational beliefs, values and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 109–132. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135153.
Feldman, A.F., & Matjasko, J.L. (2005). The role of school-based extracurricular activities in adolescent development: A comprehensive review and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 75, 159–210. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543075002159.
Fortuin, J., van Geel, M., & Vedder, P. (2015). Peer influences on internalizing and externalizing problems among adolescents: A longitudinal social network analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(4), 887–897. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0168-x.
Fortuin, J., van Geel, M., & Vedder, P. (2016). Peers and academic achievement: A longitudinal study on selection and socialization effects of in-class friends. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2014.917257.
Franken, A., Keijsers, L., Dijkstra, J.K., & Ter Bogt, T. (2017). Music preferences, friendship, and externalizing behavior in early adolescence: a SIENA examination of the Music Marker Theory using the SNARE Study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(8), 1839–1850. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0633-4.
Giordano, P.C. (2003). Relationships in adolescence. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 257–281. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100047.
Gremmen, M.C., Dijkstra, J.K., Steglich, C., & Veenstra, R. (2017). First selection, then influence: Developmental differences in friendship dynamics regarding academic achievement. Developmental Psychology, 53(7), 1356–1370. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000314.
Gruenenfelder-Steiger, A.E., Harris, M.A., & Fend, H.A. (2016). Subjective and objective peer approval evaluations and self-esteem development: A test of reciprocal, prospective, and long-term effects. Developmental Psychology, 52(10), 1563–1577. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000147.
Holopainen, L., & Savolainen, H. (2005). Erityisopetus ja oppimisvaikeudet. In E. Korkeakoski (Ed.), Koulutuksen perusturva ja oppimisen tuki perusopetuksessa. Osaraportti, (Vol 3, pp. 58–72). Jyväskylä, Finland: Koulutuksen arviointineuvosto..
Huisman, M., & Steglich, C. (2008). Treatment of non-response in longitudinal network studies. Social Networks, 30, 297–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2008.04.004.
Kindermann, T.A. (2007). Effects of naturally-existing peer groups on changes in academic engagement in a cohort of sixth graders. Child Development, 78(4), 1186–1203. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01060.x.
Kindermann, T.A. (2016). Peer group influences on students’ academic motivation. In R. Wentzel & G.B. Ramani (Eds.), Handbook of social influence on social-emotional, motivation, and cognitive outcomes in school contexts (pp. 31–47). New York, US: Routledge.
Kiuru, N., Aunola, K., Nurmi, J.-E., Leskinen, E., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2008). Peer group influence and selection in adolescents’ school burnout: A longitudinal study. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 54, 23–55. https://doi.org/10.1353/mpq.2008.0008.
Kiuru, N., Aunola, K., Vuori, J., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2007). The role of peer groups in adolescents’ educational expectations and adjustment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36, 995–1009. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-006-9118-6.
Kiuru, N., Burk, W., Laursen, B., Salmela-Aro, K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2010). Pressure to drink but not to smoke: Disentangling selection and socialization in adolescent peer networks and peer groups. Journal of Adolescence, 33, 801–812. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.07.006.
Kiuru, N., DeLay, D., Laursen, B., Burk, W.J., Lerkkanen, M.-K., Poikkeus, A.-M., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2017). Peer selection and influence in students’ reading skills in early primary grades: A social network approach. Reading and Writing, 30, 1473–1500. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-017-9733-5.
Lam, C.B., McHale, S.M., & Crouter, A.C. (2014). Time with peers from middle childhood to late adolescence: Developmental course and adjustment correlates. Child Development, 85(4), 1677–1693. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12235.
Leaper, C., Farkas, T., & Brown, C.S. (2012). Adolescent girls’ experiences and gender-related beliefs in relation to their motivation in math/science and English. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(3), 268–282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-011-9693-z.
Lenhart, A., Smith, A., Anderson, M., Duggan, M., & Perrin, A. (2015). Teens, technology and friendships. Retrieved from http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2015/08/Teens-and-Friendships-FINAL2.pdf
Lerner, R.M. (2004). Diversity in individual-context relations as the basis for positive development across the life span: A developmental systems perspective for theory, research, and application. Research in Human Development, 1, 327–346. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15427617rhd0104_5.
Marion, D., Laursen, B., Kiuru, N., Nurmi, J.-E., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2014). Maternal affection moderates friend influence on schoolwork engagement. Developmental Psychology, 50, 766–771. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0034295.
McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J.M. (2001). Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415–444. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.415.
Morry, M.M. (2005). Relationship satisfaction as a predictor of similarity ratings: A test of the attraction-similarity hypothesis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22(4), 561–584. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407505054524.
Ojanen, T., Sijtsema, J.J., Hawley, P.H., & Little, T.D. (2010). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in early adolescents’ friendship development: Friendship selection, influence, and prospective friendship quality. Journal of Adolescence, 33(6), 837–851. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.08.004.
Ripley, R., Snijders, T.A.B., & Preciado, P. (2013). Manual for SIENA version4.0. Oxford: University of Oxford.
Ruschoff, B., Salmela-Aro, K., Kowalewski, T., Dijkstra, J.K., & Veenstra, R. (2018). Peer networks in the post-graduate transition: Does peer group efficacy matter? (Manuscript submitted for publication).
Ryan, A. (2001). The peer group as a context for the development of young adolescent motivation and achievement. Child Development, 72, 1135–1150. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00338.
Shin, H., & Ryan, A.M. (2014). Early adolescent friendships and academic adjustment: Examining selection and influence processes with longitudinal social network analysis. Developmental Psychology, 50(11), 2462–2472. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037922.
Simpkins, S.D., Schaefer, D.R., Price, C.D., & Vest, A.E. (2013). Adolescent friendships, BMI, and physical activity: untangling selection and influence through longitudinal social network analysis. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 537–549. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2012.00836.x.
Snijders, T.A.B., & Baerveldt, C. (2003). A multilevel network study of the effects of delinquent behavior on friendship evolution. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 27, 123–151. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222500305892.
Snijders, T.A.B., van de Bunt, G.G., & Steglich, C.E.G. (2010). Introduction to stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics. Social Networks, 32, 44–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2009.02.004.
Steglich, C., Snijders, T.A.B., & Pearson, M. (2010). Dynamic networks and behavior: Separating selection from influence. Sociological Methodology, 40(1), 329–393. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9531.2010.01225.x.
Suls, J., Martin, R., & Wheeler, L. (2002). Social comparison: why, with whom, and with what effect? Current directions in psychological Science, 11, 159–163. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.00191.
van Workum, N., Scholte, R.H.J., Cillessen, A.H.N., Lodder, G.M.A., & Giletta, M. (2013). Selection, deselection, and socialization processes of happiness in adolescent friendship networks. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 563–573. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12035.
Van Zalk, M.H.W., Kerr, M., Branje, S.J.T., Stattin, H., & Meeus, W.H.J. (2010). It takes three: Selection, influence, and de-selection processes of depression in adolescent friendship networks. Developmental Psychology, 46, 927–938. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019661.
Vangrieken, K., Dochy, F., Raes, E., & Kyndt, E. (2015). Teacher collaboration: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 15, 17–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2015.04.002.
Veenstra, R., Dijkstra, J.K., Steglich, C., & Van Zalk, M.H. (2013). Network–behavior dynamics. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23(3), 399–412. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12070.
Yli-Piipari, S., Kiuru, N., Jaakkola, T., Liukkonen, J., & Watt, A. (2011). The role of peer groups in male and female adolescents’ task values and physical activity. Psychological Reports, 108(1), 75–93. https://doi.org/10.2466/05.10.11.17.pr0.108.1.75-93.
A.C. conceived of the study, participated in the theoretical design, methodological design, coordination, and drafted the manuscript. N.K. participated in the methodological design and interpretation of the data, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted part of the manuscript. P.D.P. participated in the interpretation of the data and manuscript review. J.S.E. participated in the interpretation of the data and manuscript review. K.S.A. conceived the FinEdu Studies and participated in manuscript review. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study was funded by Academy of Finland (308351, 273872).
Data Sharing and Declaration
This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study protocol was approved by the University of Helsinki Ethical Review Board in the Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Participation was voluntary, and informed consent forms were collected from both the students and their parents.
About this article
Cite this article
Chow, A., Kiuru, N., Parker, P.D. et al. Development of Friendship and Task Values in a New School: Friend Selection for the Arts and Physical Education but Socialization for Academic Subjects. J Youth Adolescence 47, 1966–1977 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0894-6
- Task values
- Social network analysis