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Does the Quality or Quantity of Friendships Improve Emotions?

Friendship is defined by researchers as a reciprocal, mutual, voluntary relationship with strong emotional bonds (Rubin, Bukowski, & Bowker, 2015). Having close friends during adolescence promotes a subjective sense of well-being (Jose, 2015). However, previous research on friendship has failed to clarify the differential effect of friendship quality and the total amount of friends on positive and negative emotions, particularly in Chinese culture. The goal of the current study was to examine the effect of friendship quality and the amount of friends on positive and negative emotions among Chinese adolescents. In order to do this, we collected data from 674 adolescents in Central China. The amount of friends was identified by using peer-nominations and the quality of friendships was measured by using a self-report measure of security, satisfaction, intimacy, helping and trust. In addition, positive and negative emotions were assessed using a self-report measure. Regression analysis was used to analyze the effect of friendship quality and the amount of friends on emotions. Results showed that the amount of friends (β = .082, p < .05), satisfaction with friends (β = .123, p < .05), and intimacy between friends (β = .173, p < .05) were significant predictors of positive emotions, F (3, 670) = 21.22, p < .01. Security (β = -.097, p < .05) was a significant predictor of negative emotions, F (1, 672) = 6.39, p < .01. The discussion focuses on friendships in Chinese culture and its implications for adolescents’ subjective well-being and social skills interventions.

Keywords: friendship quality, Chinese culture, adolescents, emotions, amount of friends


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 3 November 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022