Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development


Randall M. Jones


Current theory and research have suggested that adolescent friends share many similarities which range from strong similarities in sociodemographic variables to weaker correlations for personality characteristics. The goal of this study was to advance the base of knowledge related to similarities between friends by exploring relationships between early adolescent ego identity status and friendship strength, quality, and duration. First, the objective measure of Ego Identity Status was used to test the hypothesis that early adolescents in reciprocally identified friendship pairs are more similar in their ego identity status; no such relationship was found. Second, a measure designed to assess friendship qualities/strengths and duration lead to the conclusion that the quality/strength and duration of a friendship was also not associated with identity similarities. In addition, in-depth interviews of a subsample confirmed the findings associated with the full sample paper-pencil measures. Based on these findings, it appears that these early adolescents select friends who are not likely to operate within similar identity statuses.