Document Type

Honors Thesis




Rebecca Schwartz-Mette

Committee Members

Jennifer Blossom, Jordan LaBouff

Graduation Year

May 2023

Publication Date

Spring 2023


The current study looks at how COVID-19 affected adolescents’ interpersonal relationships due to safety restrictions. Adolescent friendships are particularly important in adolescence (Yu and Deutsch, 2021; Adler & Adler, 1995; Parker et al, 2006). Emerging research suggests that interpersonal relationships were impacted during COVID-19 (Shoshani & Kor, 2022), but there is more to understand about precisely how adolescent friendships were impacted. Specifically, it is not known whether the onset of the pandemic impacted the number of reciprocated friendships, the stability of reciprocation in best friendships, and both positive and negative friendship quality in adolescents’ lives. The current study tests whether these friendship indices were impacted during the early pandemic. Moreover, we do not know what factors may have been responsible for such changes. The current study further considers COVID-19-related media exposure and health anxiety as two possible factors influencing friendship changes. Although there were no significant changes observed from media exposure and or health anxiety, there were significant changes in best friend reciprocation prepandemic to post-pandemic. These findings suggest that having an in-person best friendship prior to the pandemic was crucial to maintaining that friendship through the pandemic