ERIC Number: EJ717849
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Reference Count: 50
Cultural and Gender Differences in the Implications of Competition for Early Adolescent Friendship
Schneider, Barry H.; Woodburn, Sharon; del Pilar Soteras del Toro, Maria; Udvari, Stephen J.
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, v51 n2 p163-191 Apr 2005
Harry Stack Sullivan maintained that competition between friends in early adolescence would generally destroy their friendship. Working with early adolescent samples in Canada, Costa Rica, and Cuba, we found that hypercompetitiveness--a form of competition involving the need to prove one?s own superiority--was linked with conflict between friends, with termination of friendship, and, in general, with less closeness. However, simple enjoyment of competition with a friend was unrelated to friendship continuation. There were important gender and cultural differences in both the levels of competitive behavior and in the mediators between competition and friendship continuation. In general, girls were less competitive with their friends than were boys. Path analysis revealed that both closeness and conflict mediated the link between hypercompetitiveness and the continuation of friendship. Several dimensions of competition were associated with greater companionship in the friendships of boys, especially in the Canadian sample, but were negative correlates of companionship between female friends.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Early Adolescents, Adolescents, Cultural Differences, Competition, Path Analysis, Friendship, Conflict, Gender Differences
Wayne State University Press, The Leonard N. Simons Building, 4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309. Tel: 800-978-7323 (Toll Free); Fax: 313-577-6131.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Costa Rica; Cuba