Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2017


Social interactions during childhood and adolescence contribute significantly to social and emotional adjustment. A primary source of social interaction for adolescents comes in the form of friends. Friendship functioning is thought to contribute to both relationship quality and emotional adjustment, such as depressive symptoms (Bukowski; Hoza, & Boivin, 1994; Demir & Urberg, 2004). However few studies have addressed how non-verbal interpersonal engagement may contribute to relationship quality and emotional adjustment in adolescent friendships. The current study examined associations of non-verbal interpersonal engagement in the context of adolescents’ same-sex friendships with self-reported friendship quality and depressive symptoms. The role of gender in these relations (see Rose & Rudolph, 2006) also was explored. Multilevel modeling was used to test all study hypotheses. Results suggested that non-verbal interpersonal engagement contributed significantly to positive, but not negative, friendship quality. Associations of interpersonal engagement with depressive symptoms were largely non-significant. Few gender differences emerged, perhaps because the study was underpowered to detect them. Additional limitations as well as future directions for research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons