Friends, lovers and spouses: Intimacy in young adults

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Intimacy in young heterosexual adults was studied as a function of their familial roles. The 168 males and females employed represented four familial role groups: late adolescents, single adults, married people and parents. Participants were administered two forms of an Intimacy Scale (Sharabany, 1994) in which they described their desired and their obtained intimacy with a same-sex and an opposite-sex best friend. Results indicated that (a) intimacy of adults with opposite-sex partner was higher than intimacy with same-sex friend. (b) Although no direct effect of familial role on intimacy was found, the married and parent groups displayed greater intimacy towards their spouses than late adolescents and single adults towards their opposite-sex partners. (c) Women who were late adolescents and women who were married scored significantly higher than men in intimacy. However, single women expressed significantly lower intimacy than single men. (d) Higher intimacy with opposite-sex partner was associated with a concurrent lower same-sex intimacy. (e) Satisfaction with other-sex partner was higher in the married group than in the other groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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