Friendship and personal adjustment during adolescence

J Adolesc. 1992 Mar;15(1):39-55. doi: 10.1016/0140-1971(92)90064-c.


A questionnaire evaluating the friendship network, the expectations towards friends, the level of intimacy and attachment with friends, as well as the presence of conflicts with friends, was administered to 349 adolescents. The sample consisted of both males and females, age ranging from 12 to 18 years. Subjects were also given various personal adjustment indices that were obtained from the Offer Self Image Questionnaire. The results demonstrate that there are small differences in the friendship network across age and gender. Analysis of the qualitative aspects of friendship are generally constant with respect to age, but demonstrate marked differences with respect to gender: girls expect more from their friends than boys and their level of attachment and intimacy with friends is greater. The results also indicate that the number of friends in the network is not significantly correlated with the personal adjustment variables. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the quality of attachment maintained with friends and the absence of conflict experiences in friendship account for a low but significant proportion of the score variance obtained from the personal adjustment scale. The possibility to confer personal problems and the preoccupations to friends seems beneficial for the acquisition of adaptive behavior. Deficiencies in communication with friends or confrontation experiences and feelings of alienation are related to some forms of maladaptive behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors