Theory and research on adolescence emphasize the importance of the peer group in general and friendships in particular. There is evidence for friend similarity in variables such as personal attitudes, activity preferences, antisocial behavior, and demographic variables. Another important aspect of adolescent development is the issue of identity formation, particularly the formation of value priorities. This study combines both issues to investigate the role of friendship in value similarity. Specifically, we ask, how similar are adolescent friends in their values? Thirty-five Israeli adolescents (mean age: 16.8), forming 595 dyads (531 non-friend dyads and 64 friendship dyads) participated. They all came from a single high-school class, to control for social stratification influences on value similarity. They reported their value priorities using the Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ, Schwartz et al., 2001). Dyadic similarity was determined by computing a within-dyad profile correlation across the comprehensive value system described by Schwartz. Adolescents resembled each other in terms of their values. The average dyadic correlation across the value system was .38. As hypothesized, friends were more similar than non-friends in their values. This attests to the important role of friendship in identity formation in adolescence, as friends may influence each other's values and friendships may develop around value similarity. This effect was found while controlling for demographic similarity. Three values, self-direction, conformity, and power, distinguished between four friendship networks found in the class, and accounted for 71% of group belonging. The roles of geographic proximity, length of acquaintance, and relationship quality are explored, and the implications for adolescent development are briefly discussed.
|Original language||American English|
|Title of host publication||Friendships|
|Subtitle of host publication||Types, Cultural, Psychological and Social Aspects|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||22|
|State||Published - Dec 2012|
- Social networks