Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

JoNell Strough.

Committee Co-Chair

Katherine Karraker

Committee Member

B. Kent Parker


This study examined the association between early adolescents' friendship features and friendship outcomes (maintenance vs. dissolution and overall quality) following friendship problems. Also of interest was whether the reported causes of friendship problems and friendship dissolution differed. Early adolescents' (mean age = 12.45 years; 118 girls, 82 boys) experiences with their friends were assessed through several written questionnaires. Six friendship features were used to predict friendship outcomes following problems: length of friendship, closeness, common experiences, balance of costs and rewards, personal characteristics, and expected ease of finding a new friend. Length of friendship and approval of a friend's personal characteristics predicted friendship dissolution. Personal characteristics and expected ease of finding a new friend predicted overall friendship quality. Predictors were similar for girls and boys. Also, friendship problems and friendship dissolution had different causes. Issues related to group membership or personal characteristics were reported as the causes of many friendship problems; friendship dissolution was most often caused by a lack of common experiences. The results illustrate that early adolescent friendship dissolution is similar to other relationship dissolution and that friendships do not necessarily end for the same reasons that problems occur between friends.