Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Early Adolescents’ Friendship Development: Friendship Selection, Influence, and Prospective Friendship Quality

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Friendships, Adolescence, Motivation, Social network modeling

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Friendships are essential for adolescent social development. However, they may be pursued for varying motives, which, in turn, may predict similarity in friendships via social selection or social influence processes, and likely help to explain friendship quality. We examined the effect of early adolescents’ (N = 374, 12–14 years) intrinsic and extrinsic friendship motivation on friendship selection and social influence by utilizing social network modeling. In addition, longitudinal relations among motivation and friendship quality were estimated with structural equation modeling. Extrinsic motivation predicted activity in making friendship nominations during the sixth grade and lower friendship quality across time. Intrinsic motivation predicted inactivity in making friendship nominations during the sixth, popularity as a friend across the transition to middle school, and higher friendship quality across time. Social influence effects were observed for both motives, but were more pronounced for intrinsic motivation

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Adolescence, v. 33, issue 6, p. 837–851