Friendship motivation in fourth and sixth graders: A thematic analysis

D.P. McAdams, M. Losoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Fourth and sixth graders' friendship motivation was assessed via thematic coding of stories told in response to pictures. Children scoring high in friendship motivation at both grades reported more factual information about their best friends, revealed `deeper', more reciprocal understandings of the meaning of their own friendships with their best friends, and showed greater stability over time in their best-friend relationships than did children scoring low on the motive. Friendship motivation was also associated with teacher ratings of `friendly', `affectionate', `co-operative', `sincere', `happy', `mature', `imaginative', and `popular'. Girls scored higher in friendship motivation than boys. The new construct friendship motivation and its attendant methodology, adapted from personality research on intimacy motivation in adults, are compared to more conventional contemporary constructs and methods employed in the study of the development of children's friendships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
StatePublished - 1984


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