Gender Differences in Adolescents' Behavior during Conflict Resolution Tasks with Best Friends

By Black, Katherine A. | Adolescence, Fall 2000 | Go to article overview

Gender Differences in Adolescents' Behavior during Conflict Resolution Tasks with Best Friends


Black, Katherine A., Adolescence


ABSTRACT

This study examined gender differences in adolescents' behavior during conflict resolution tasks with their best friends. It also examined gender differences in adolescents' descriptions of those friendships. Thirty-nine adolescents were videotaped while discussing unresolved problems with their best friends. In addition, adolescents completed the Friendship Questionnaire (Furman & Adler, 1982). The results indicated that there were significant gender differences. On the conflict resolution tasks, females were rated lower in withdrawal and higher in communication skills and support-validation than were males. On the Friendship Questionnaire, males rated their relationships with best friends higher in conflict than did females. Methodological considerations are discussed.

Numerous studies have documented gender differences in children's and adolescents' peer interactions and friendships. Several of the findings are particularly noteworthy. First, females and males differ in the number of friends with whom they interact. Males spend more time in coordinated group activity, and females engage in longer episodes of dyadic interaction (Benenson, Apostoleris, & Parnass, 1997). In addition, males have larger peer networks than do females, although there is evidence that this difference disappears by adolescence (Benenson, 1990; Montemayor & Van Komen, 1985; Urberg, Degirmencioglu, Tolson, & Halliday-Scher, 1995).

Females and males also differ in the level of intimacy within their friendships. In general, female friendships involve more intimacy than do male friendships (Clark-Lempers, Lempers, & Ho, 1991; Crockett, Losoff, & Petersen, 1984; Hunter & Youniss, 1982; Jones & Dembo, 1989; Lansford & Parker, 1999; Lempers & Clark-Lempers, 1993; Parker & Asher, 1993; Sharabany, Gershoni, & Hofman, 1981). Females are more likely than males to disclose thoughts and feelings to their friends and to seek out friends for advice (Dolgin & Kim, 1994; Papini, Farmer, Clark, Micka, & Barnett, 1990). Further, females report being closer to, and receiving more support and greater understanding from, their friends (Berndt & Perry, 1986; Bukowski, Hoza, & Boivin, 1994; Clark & Ayers, 1993; Furman & Buhrmester, 1992; La Greca & Lopez, 1998; Reisman, 1990). According to McNelles and Connolly (1999), there are gender differences in the behaviors adolescents use to establish intimacy, defined as the sharing of an affective experience; fema les establish intimacy through discussion and self-disclosure, and males establish intimacy though shared activities. Likewise, self-disclosure predicts emotional closeness in females' friendships, but both shared experiences and self-disclosure predict emotional closeness in males' friendships (Camarena, Sarigiani, & Petersen, 1990).

Finally, there are gender differences in the amount of conflict between friends, with more conflict occurring between males than between females (Furman, 1996; Lempers & Clark-Lempers, 1993; Miller, Danaher, & Forbes, 1986). In addition, there are differences in how females and males choose to resolve conflicts. Miller, Danaher, and Forbes (1986) reported that, during free play sessions, males were more likely to use physical force or threat to resolve conflicts, whereas females were more likely to use a mitigating strategy, such as clarifying the other child's feelings, changing the topic, proposing a compromise, or leaving the situation. Chung and Asher (1996) as well as Rose and Asher (1999) found that, in hypothetical conflicts with peers (e.g., a classmate refuses to return a puzzle piece that the subject needs to finish a puzzle), females were more likely to recommend prosocial strategies and males were more likely to recommend hostile or coercive strategies. These conflict resolution strategies have i mportant implications for children's friendships, as they were correlated with number of friends and with peer acceptance. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gender Differences in Adolescents' Behavior during Conflict Resolution Tasks with Best Friends
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.