Shaping adolescent heterosexual romantic experiences : contributions of same- and other-sex friendships
Contributing through the skills and capacities that they foster as well as through the quality of them, friendships have been identified as a powerful source of influence on adolescents’ romantic experiences. Unlike same-sex friendships, the influence of adolescents’ other-sex friendships on romantic relationships remains largely under-researched (Monsour, 2002; Sippola, 1999). In the current study I examined unique longitudinal and concurrent contributions of adolescents’ experiences of relational authenticity and intimacy in other-sex friendships to adolescents’ romantic intimacy and competence, while controlling for the influence of same-sex friendships. Ninety-seven participants rated their perception of relational authenticity and relationship intimacy in Grade 9. In Grade 11 they rated their perception of friendship and romantic intimacy, as well as romantic competence. The present longitudinal findings showed that adolescents’ earlier perception of relational authenticity in other-sex friendships predicted their subsequent perception of romantic intimacy and competence. The corresponding experience in same-sex friendships predicted only romantic competence in Grade 11 and only when the influence of other-sex friendships was not being considered. Although same-sex friendship intimacy in Grade 9 also demonstrated unique links to romantic intimacy in Grade 11, other-sex friendship intimacy in Grade 9 showed no such links. With regard to concurrent findings in Grade 11, experiences of intimacy in same- and other-sex friendships both predicted romantic intimacy in Grade 11. A discussion of possible explanations to the present research results is offered. Future research is suggested.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeNicol , Jennifer A. J.; McDougall, Patti; Teucher, Ulrich
Copyright DateAugust 2010