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Title:Friendships across time and space: the effects of a life transition on friendships
Author(s):Weiner, Aaron
Director of Research:Hannum, James W.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hannum, James W.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Rounds, James; Karahalios, Karrie G.; Robinson-Cimpian, Joseph P.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Long distance friendship
individual differences
computer-mediated communication
friendship maintenance
Abstract:While friendship over distance was once rare, numerous new technological options have created the opportunity to maintain friendships while not being geographically proximate. However, research examining the friendship dynamics of long-distance friends is rare, and the effects of communication and personality on long-distance friendship maintenance have not been fully explored. The present study represents a longitudinal examination of the effects of communication and personality variables on maintaining a best friendship from high-school over participants’ first year of college, as well as the effects of this maintenance on the development of a new social network. In terms of communication quantity, results indicated that text messaging frequency was the most consistently associated with friendship maintenance over distance. Instant messages (IMs) and communication via social networking sites (SNSs) were also associated with multiple relational outcomes. In regard to communication quality, higher quality of communication was associated with positive relational outcomes for all mediums except for e-mail and face-to-face contact. Agreeableness and Extraversion were also strongly related to positive friendship outcomes, although did not affect the trajectory of relational outcomes over time. Positive associations were also observed between maintaining a high-school best friend and both social and psychological outcomes. Possible future directions and limitations are also discussed.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013, Aaron Weiner
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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