Friendship expectations among immigrant adolescents and their host peers

J Adolesc. 1998 Feb;21(1):69-82. doi: 10.1006/jado.1997.0130.


This study investigated differences in friendship expectations between immigrants in early and middle adolescence and their Israeli-born peers. Israeli newcomers from the former Soviet Union and their non-immigrant classmates were asked to rate behavioural characteristics of peers according to the extent of their importance for friendship, and also to assess the importance of these characteristics as friendship expectations of members of the other group. Results indicate that immigrants assign greater importance than their host counterparts to all aspects of friendship expectations (help and assistance, status, similarity, and avoidance of harm). Immigrants also tend to view their host peers as expecting more of their friendship in terms of status and similarity, whereas host adolescents perceive the help and avoidance functions of friendship to be a strong factor in the friendship expectations of their immigrant counterparts. Immigrants' friendship expectations were found to be correlated with social distress, especially among early adolescent girls. The results are discussed in terms of the functions of friendships and friendship expectations in the immigrants' adaptation process, and of institutional differences in allocation of immigrants to integrated or segregated classrooms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Support
  • USSR / ethnology