Event Title

Cross-Sex Friendship Quality Predicted by Family Dynamics and Self-Esteem

Poster Number

096

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 4:15 PM

Description

Cross-sex friendships are very common in young adulthood; yet this type of relationship might be one of the most understudied. One unexamined area is how young adults’ parental relationships influence cross-sex friendships. Thus, we examined how young adults’ relationships to their fathers relate to their cross-sex friendships and associated jealousy levels. We hypothesized that a better adult-father relationship would predict closeness with cross-sex friends and less jealousy. Participants were 103 young adults with a mean age of 23.94 (SD = 7.83); 64% were Caucasian, 15% were African American, and the remainder reported other ethnicities. Participants responded to online scales that assessed relationships with their fathers, depth and intimacy of their cross-sex friendships, tendencies for jealousy and self-esteem. Our results did not support our hypotheses. The quality of the relationships with their fathers predicted adult daughters’ flirtatiousness with their cross-sex friends but did not predict the overall relationship quality or jealousy levels. Perhaps close, emotional connections with their fathers allowed these women to feel more comfortable teasing the opposite sex in a fun, non-sexual manner. In contrast, we found some initial evidence that the quality of father-son relationships might facilitate cross-sex friendship quality. Women raised with sisters reported less connection to their cross-sex friends; maybe these women developed a greater appreciation for female friendships (versus cross-sex friendships) because of their experiences with their female siblings. These findings enhance our understanding of this common aspect of young adults’ lives by demonstrating that family dynamics influence adults’ cross-sex friendships.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 2018

Course Assignment

PSYC 471, 472 - Sleigh

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Apr 20th, 2:15 PM Apr 20th, 4:15 PM

Cross-Sex Friendship Quality Predicted by Family Dynamics and Self-Esteem

Richardson Ballroom

Cross-sex friendships are very common in young adulthood; yet this type of relationship might be one of the most understudied. One unexamined area is how young adults’ parental relationships influence cross-sex friendships. Thus, we examined how young adults’ relationships to their fathers relate to their cross-sex friendships and associated jealousy levels. We hypothesized that a better adult-father relationship would predict closeness with cross-sex friends and less jealousy. Participants were 103 young adults with a mean age of 23.94 (SD = 7.83); 64% were Caucasian, 15% were African American, and the remainder reported other ethnicities. Participants responded to online scales that assessed relationships with their fathers, depth and intimacy of their cross-sex friendships, tendencies for jealousy and self-esteem. Our results did not support our hypotheses. The quality of the relationships with their fathers predicted adult daughters’ flirtatiousness with their cross-sex friends but did not predict the overall relationship quality or jealousy levels. Perhaps close, emotional connections with their fathers allowed these women to feel more comfortable teasing the opposite sex in a fun, non-sexual manner. In contrast, we found some initial evidence that the quality of father-son relationships might facilitate cross-sex friendship quality. Women raised with sisters reported less connection to their cross-sex friends; maybe these women developed a greater appreciation for female friendships (versus cross-sex friendships) because of their experiences with their female siblings. These findings enhance our understanding of this common aspect of young adults’ lives by demonstrating that family dynamics influence adults’ cross-sex friendships.