Stability and Commitment in Friendships

  • Beverley Fehr
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


“Everywhere and in all ages people have formed this very same tie with each other—this tie that is not based on the binding forces of kinship, marriage, or romance” (Brenton, 1974, p. 14). The tie to which Brenton refers is friendship. Friendship has been described as the most voluntary relationship (e.g., Brenton, 1974; Rose, 1984; Wiseman, 1986). Unlike husbands and wives, friends are not under societal or contractual obligations to one another. Nor do friends encounter the social pressures inherent in dating and familial relationships. Friendships also differ from work or team relationships, where a common task or goal ensures the continuation of the relationship. Yet many friendships endure. According to (Wiseman (1986)), “A major and unique aspect of friendship is the absence of formal bonds during maintenance of an intimate stable relationship” (p. 191).


Social Network Personal Relationship Junior High School Network Member Social Exchange Theory 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverley Fehr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

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