PSYC 353 – March 10, 2014
Food for thought:
- How do you know when you are really in love? Will this love last forever?
- Would you care for your parents (or in-laws) if they became severely disabled or
o What factors might influence your decision?
If you look at adulthood and a person’s overall life satisfaction, it is directly connected to social
networks and friends.
What/Who is a friend?
- Three broad themes underlie adult friendships
o Affective or emotional basis
This includes self-disclosure, expressions of intimacy, appreciation,
affection, and support.
Based on trust, loyalty, and commitment
o Shared or communal nature
Friends participate in or support activities of mutual interest
Could be kids, living in the same neighborhood, values, spiritual, same
profession or workplace, etc.
o Sociability and compatibility
Friends keep us entertained and are sources of amusement, fun, and
- Sex differences in young adulthood are the most common, because young adults have
more friends at that point than any other point in their life.
- Age differences in friendship
o Young adults tend to have more friends and acquaintances than any other age
o Friendships in old age are especially important for maintaining life satisfaction
o This is possibly due to socio-emotional selectivity
Younger people have different or underdeveloped goals – they seek
information at this age, so they increase their exposure to other people
- Gender differences in friendship o Men tend to have fewer friendships than women
o Men’s friendships tend to be based on shared activities
o Women’s friendships are based on intimate emotional sharing
o Cross-gender friendships tend to be very difficult to maintain
This is true more when you grow older
Can be due to jealousy as well, as personal relationships can pose an
- Five types of sibling relationships have been identified (Gold & Colleagues 1990)
- Based on four dimensions: Closeness, Involvement, Contact and Resentment/Envy
o Congenial – high closeness, high involvement, average contact, low resentment
o Loyal – average on closeness, involvement, contact, low on resentment
o Intimate – high c, high I, high contact, low resentment
o Apathetic – low on all (closeness, involvement, contact, resentment)
o Hostile – low closeness, high involvement, low contact, high resentment
- Stats Canada found that over 80% of Canadian older people have siblings or sibling
- Loyal and congenial relationships describe nearly 2/3 of all older sibling pairs (blood
- Sibling ties among sisters tend to be the strongest
- Rise in remarriage has led to more stepsibling relationships – completely different
- Study in 2008 - older people are more likely to support/be supported by their sibling than
when they were younger.
Love as a Relationship
- Love underlies one of the most important relationships in life – spouse or partner
- Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love o Main ingredients: