Social identity support and friendship outcomes: A longitudinal study predicting who will be friends and best friends 4 years later
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
This longitudinal study tested the hypothesis that social identity support would predict the long-term status of first-year college friendships. Social identity support refers to perceived support for valued aspects of the self that are related to identification with social groups, categories, and roles. First-year undergraduates (N = 100) reported levels of closeness, contact, general support, and social identity support for new same-sex friendships. Logistic regression analyses indicated, as expected, that social identity support predicted whether or not a new friend would be a best friend 4 years later, after controlling for initial levels of closeness, contact, and general relationship-specific social support. Social identity support, however, did not predict status as a mere friend at follow-up. The results regarding best friend status suggest that social identity support may be a unique form of social support that contributes to the development of close relationships.
Weisz, Carolyn, and Lisa Fortlouis Wood. 2005. "Social identity support and friendship outcomes: A longitudinal study predicting who will be friends and best friends 4 years later." Journal Of Social & Personal Relationships 22(3): 416-432.