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ERIC Number: EJ1094923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Girls' and Boys' Problem Talk: Implications for Emotional Closeness in Friendships
Rose, Amanda J.; Smith, Rhiannon L.; Glick, Gary C.; Schwartz-Mette, Rebecca A.
Developmental Psychology, v52 n4 p629-639 Apr 2016
This research highlights the critical role of gender in the context of problem talk and social support in adolescents' friendships. Early- and middle-adolescents' (N = 314 friend dyads; Ms = 13.01 and 16.03 years) conversations about problems were studied using observation and a short-term longitudinal design. Mean-level gender differences emerged in that girls participated in problem talk more than boys and responded in a more positive and engaged manner to friends' statements about problems (e.g., by saying something supportive, asking a question) than did boys. Interestingly, boys used humor during problem talk more than girls. Despite mean-level differences, there were not gender differences in the functional significance of participating in problem talk and positive engaged responses in that these behaviors predicted increased friendship closeness for both boys and girls. In contrast, humor during problem talk predicted increased closeness only for boys, highlighting an understudied pathway to closeness in boys' friendships.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01MH073590