Individuals formulate implicit theories about the nature of friendships, which influence their motivations and behaviors in friendships. In the present study, a measure of implicit theories of friendship was developed and tested in a sample of 166 sixth grade children. Children also completed measures assessing the importance of friendship qualities as well as specific behaviors in their friendships with their best friends. Results of the study validated the measure of implicit theories of friendship and showed that growth beliefs were positively related to intimacy, conflict resolution and validation and caring in children's friendships. Destiny beliefs were not directly related to features of children's friendships. Gender, satisfaction in the friendship, and the length of the friendship moderated the relation between implicit theories of friendship and the importance of friendship qualities and behaviors in the friendship. Implications of the findings as well as developmental considerations are discussed. Future directions for the study of implicit theories of friendship are presented.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2008. Major: Child Psychology. Advisors: W. Andrew Collins, Ph.D., Nicki R. Crick, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 76 pages.
Kempner, Sara Gayle.
Implicit theories of friendships: examining the roles of growth and destiny beliefs in children’s friendships..
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