Do Friends Share and Communicate More Than Non-Friends?

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Eighty children, kindergarteners and first graders, were assigned to classmate same-sex pairs of friends and non-friends. Each dyad was asked to draw on a single sheet of paper using paints and cuttings. Social communicative behaviors; smiles, looks and verbal activity, and sharing behaviors; exchange of materials and use of space, were observed. Interobserver reliability was 0.80. Results showed that friends unexpectedly exhibited less sharing and less communicative behaviors, while they showed more task activity. An explanatory model is suggested to account for social intimacy among friends; task relevant behaviors are maximized, and other social behaviors minimized among friends. Non-friends minimized task relevant behaviors and maximized social communicative behaviors. Implications for the vicissitudes of intimacy among friends are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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