Emerging adult friendship : a consequence of family communication and catalyst for well-being




Guinn, Trey D.

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The purpose of this research was to examine the friendships of emerging adults as influenced by familial environments in order to illuminate interpersonal aspects of well-being. Recent literature affirms that friendships play a critical role in the lives of emerging adults; these interpersonal connections rely on the use of friendship formation strategies and maintenance behaviors. Employing a longitudinal design that included both participant and peer reports, this study found that individuals’ use of friendship formation strategies and maintenance behaviors contribute to their overall well-being and that the path for maintenance behaviors was partially mediated by relational quality with friends. Further, it was expected that the propensity to engage in friendship work (i.e., formation strategies and maintenance behaviors) would be predicted by communication within the parent-child relationship. Recent scholarship asserts that parent confirmation affects both the socialization and psychosocial development of children. The current work employed a confirmation perspective to assess how families lay the groundwork for emerging adults’ communicative behaviors in friendship and found that parent confirmation predicted individuals’ use of friendship formation and maintenance behaviors. Together, these associations pave a social-cognitive pathway from family and friendship to well-being.



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