ERIC Number: ED313099
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Two Pathways of Friends' Influence: Description and Developmental Changes.
Berndt, Thomas J.
Data from a recent study of potential effects of friends' characteristics and friendship features on students' adjustment to school are used to illustrate the distinction between two contradictory assumptions about the path of peer influence. The first assumption, which is linked to the work of Bronfenbrenner, takes a negative view, and focuses on the friends' own characteristics, especially their attitudes and behavior. The second assumption, a positive view of peer influence attributed to Piaget and Sullivan, focuses on the features of the friendships. Positive features of friendship include intimacy, trust, and prosocial behavior, while negative features include conflict and rivalry. Subjects of the study were over 300 students from 5th, 8th, and 11th grades. Data suggest that the first pathway incompletely describes friends' influence. Close and supportive friendships have positive effects on attitudes and behavior at school. Data also suggest that attention should be given to the negative features of friendship. Findings support these hypotheses: (1) the features of children's and adolescents' friendships have a greater impact on some aspects of adjustment than on others; and (2) age changes in the impact of friendship features vary across aspects of adjustment. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A