Family and Friends: Which Types of Personal Relationships Go Together in a Network?
For example, family members are more likely than friends to provide unconditional support, while friends and other non-family members are. Platyrrhini (*New World monkeys *; cohort Unguiculata , order Primates )* They live in family groups, and much of the chatter is between different groups. group has very complex social relationships among individuals and subgroups . The mother monkey”s female friends may help raise and care for an infant. Each model, i.e., each different tree, predicted a different multinomial distribution The cladistic relationships depicted in these best fitting trees agreed in almost.
Two men were in exclusive couple relationships, meaning that they were dating or having a romantic relationship with only one other person.
Two men were in non-exclusive dating relationships. Three men were single and not in couple relationships. There were four female participants in my interview sample in their early thirties.
One woman was married and had two children. Two women were engaged. Three women were in exclusive couple relationships. Two of those three women had been previously divorced. Two women identified as single and were not in couple relationships.
I used convenience, snowball, purposive, non-random sampling to recruit my interview sample. I did initial outreach sending e-mails and a flyer to organizations on campus and to personal contacts who had connections to participants falling within the demographics I had selected for the study.
Seven participants were graduate students. Six participants were undergraduate students, and five of those six participants were from an adult education program at the university.
There were three participants that were not students and had full-time jobs. All participation was voluntary and uncompensated. I use pseudonyms to protect participant identity.
Individual interviews took place in private rooms at the university campus center or nearby. I gave each participant a consent form to sign and a sheet for background information. I used an interview guide see Appendix B and I audio-recorded the interviews with participant permission. For the first half of the interview, I asked participants about what their friendships were like, why their friendships were meaningful to them, and for descriptions of specific instances where the respondent had to deal with conflict in their friendships or navigate the flexible definition of friendship.Monkey family in happiness life, Amazing monkey family
For the second half of the interview, I asked participants about how their friendships compared and related to marital, familial, and dating relationships. I asked participants to describe what makes a good marriage and their favorite family relationship.
I also asked participants to prioritize their relationships. I asked participants to describe the people that they felt closest to, and to describe the relationships that they felt were the most important to them and had lasted the longest. I asked questions informed by a personal community framework; I did not want to assume which types of relationships would be most important to participants and I wanted to understand why participants had chosen to talk about those relationships.
In-depth interviews allow interviewers to connect cultural beliefs about what is good and honorable to individual narratives through different levels of emotions. The first level reveals what culture tells people they should feel about something.
The second level reveals how they actually feel about that thing. The third level reveals meta-feelings how people feel about the way that they should feel about a thing. Meta-feelings reveal the relationship between collective and individual, and how culture continues through an iterative process on the level of individual aberration from a cultural norm Pugh, Limited research about young adult friendship motivated me to do inductive research instead of hypothesis-testing deductive research Esterberg, Analytic categories emerged from systematic analysis of the transcripts and were used to construct theory in response to my research questions.
As I transcribed audio recordings, I did open coding, where I generated a running list of terms, concepts, and themes linking the content in interview transcripts to a literature review on marriage, family, and friendship.
After transcription, I summarized recurring open codes into concepts that became the codes that I used in my second round of focused coding.
What does platyrrhini mean?
I used a color system to mark the presence of focused codes in transcripts and then compiled relevant transcript quotes into separate code documents in Microsoft Word. These were some of the relevant open codes from the first review of transcripts: Next, I sorted the previous codes into code clusters and locally integrated these open codes by writing about how the open codes were related to each other in code cluster documents.
These were some of the relevant code clusters: Finally, I did inclusive integration by writing about code clusters in analytic memos about the social value of friendship, and friendship and kinship in personal communities. Results The Need for Friendship During the Transition to Adulthood Young adults have high residential mobility rates, especially in their twenties Rindfuss, Participants talked about their need for friends during changes in residence, employment and educational contexts, and relationship status, including transitions between dating, marital, and parenting statuses.
Participants struggled to find friends who met their specific needs for friendship. Reflecting the diversity of personal communities during the transition to adulthood, even when people were of similar ages or shared work and educational contexts, these shared experiences were not reliable indicators of compatible friendship needs.
Needing friendship seemed more urgent for participants that had recently moved to the area than for married participants or long-time residents of the area. Not married, no children Unmarried participants without children were particularly aware of the need for friends, recognizing their cultural value by referring to making friends as if they were investing effort to cultivate them.
Respondents recognized the value of less intimate ties like friendly acquaintances for social interaction and support. Dan was a year-old white male and graduate student. He was in an exclusive couple.
Family and Friends: Which Types of Personal Relationships Go Together in a Network?
What are you up to? Grab a quick coffee? Dan described the flexible nature of friendship and the benefits of friendship in its varying intensities. Many participants wished they still had access to a unique environment, like college, where they could easily establish social networks and long-lasting friendships. Mary was a year-old, white, graduate student in an exclusive couple.
Mary had recently moved to the area and talked about multiple ways that she was trying to make friends after moving away from her established social networks.
New World Monkeys
She realized that she had to find places in Boston that were similar to a college environment, where community was supported and encouraged. She joined a yoga studio and was trying to be more honest about her need for a friend in her graduate classes. Based on what they give you, you see what kinda space they have Participants carefully crafted their personal communities.
They were strategic about how and with whom they spent their limited time and resources. They described making strategic choices about whom they would befriend and how.
Unmarried participants wanted friends who would have time and space for a new leisure-based friendship in their life. Married participants wanted friends who could get along with their partner. Parents wanted friends in a similar life-stage who would be able to accommodate their parenting obligations. When participants sought friends, they compared themselves to people who had established networks from high school and college and did not seem to have time or emotional space for more friends.
Younger participants who recently graduated from college in the area had larger friend groups than older participants that had moved away after graduating.
For participants experiencing the interruption of social network stability by moving away from established networks making friends became a challenge. It feels like work. It feels like listening for cues of people who might wanna be friends Even though she had to go through the frustrating process multiple times, she invests in it because she believed the social interaction, even with only a potential friend, was culturally valuable enough to name it as a need that is required in order to be a person.
Participants observed the difference from the college lifestyle of many easy and casual connections. After college, their social networks revolved around careers. They felt that it required more time, effort, and planning to spend time with friends and that it was more difficult to meet new friends that were in similar life situations. Participants that moved a lot, did not attend college, had divorced, or in other ways experienced instability in their support networks, felt that making friends was particularly difficult.
Kylie dropped out of a prestigious college to marry her now ex-husband. They moved to Santa Barbara and her ex-husband kept her from having friends or talking to her family. Kylie had moved a few times during emerging adulthood. By missing a life stage with her cohort, going through a divorce, and an extended period of isolation, Kylie was especially sensitive to the absence of a social support network that her peers possessed. The negative case for friendship: They recognized that they faced different barriers to making friends than their peers and prioritized their commitment to their marriage and their kids over attempts to make or spend time with friends.
For these participants, friendship may not have been as important for development of adult identities because the companionate marriages they described and marital childbearing are symbols of adulthood for the middle-class.
The Old World Monkeys
Emma was a year-old white graduate student. She was married and had two children. Married participants had greater demands on their time, especially if they had children. They also expressed a desire for more time to spend with friends or to spend making friends.
These respondents were more aware about the costs and benefits of making and maintaining friendships than their childless peers. The people where I do prioritize their friendship are people that understand that about my life. I do make time to see them and often they will want to see my kids. Emma talked about how people in her graduate program would go for drinks after class, but that she could not participate in such spontaneous activities.
She sounded tired as she listed out the pre-planning and coordination that would have to happen with her partner in order for her to get drinks on a weekday evening.
Logan was a married year-old white male, undergraduate student, and father of two children. Things that really define my life right now are my family, kids, academics and my intellectual pursuits Married parents needed friends that would be invested in their families and would understand that family was a top priority.
These participants wanted potential friends to meet and get along with their families, or at the very least they had to be willing to talk about them. For married parents, their family and particularly their spouse were critical components of their social identities. These participants often said that their spouse was their most intimate relationship because spouses were heavily involved in day-to-day logistics, financial commitments, and children.
Participants talked about a shift in friendships from youth to adulthood by describing their younger selves as less likely to care about social consequences of their behavior. Conflict was described as less significant and more ephemeral during childhood and adolescence.
I have a fairly limited number of people with whom I interact regularly. I not only consciously worry but implicit in the ways that I interact with people worry of saying the wrong thing or getting the wrong reputation and then having that snowball and cause problems in my life that are more than social When I was younger I was much more open I was able to form close friendships relatively soon after meeting people. But also I had a lot of When I was younger This quote showed that even though Logan had experienced the transitions of marriage and fatherhood, he still struggled with intimacy in his relationships.
It even seems to suggest that he may have been better at establishing intimacy when he was younger, despite having also offended many people. People who are socially isolated have less support and less conflict, while people who are socially engaged have more of both. Conflict and friendship were depicted as more abundant and less meaningful in youth.
Conversely, negotiating conflict in friendship seemed more significant in adulthood because participants had more to lose; they did not have as many friends, could not make them as easily, and engaging in conflict required resources of time and effort that many participants did not have.
Friendship in Personal Communities Family was always considered the most durable of relationships because most participants did not think they could end a family relationship. However, intimate friends were often considered as durable as kinship relations. When participants were asked to assess how important their different relationships were to them, the marital or romantic couple came out on top.
Yet, participant accounts described relationship types as being unique with distinct strengths and weaknesses. Confirming the empirical generation of the personal community framework, it seemed that all relationship types had the potential to provide valuable support to respondents.
Friendship strengthened personal communities by providing external support to the marital couple and by becoming a unique relationship bond within family relationships. Friends provided multiple perspectives, opportunities for individual growth, access to resources, social capital, and diverse compatibilities to meet the individual needs of respondents.
Support external to the family: Friends supporting kin relationships Gina was a year-old, previously divorced white, female, undergraduate student, in an exclusive couple relationship. People need various people for different reasons Kathy [best friend] brings stability and reliability and Amanda [other best friend] brings the party.
A couple years ago I got pregnant and it was two months before I was supposed to come back to campus I talked to my friend Kathy In this quote, Gina described how she was able to use different relationships for different needs. Having a balanced and cohesive support system seemed important to participants.
When participants felt that they were missing or seeing problems in their relationships, they focused on the weak link of their personal community as something that they wanted to fix. Participants believed that they could and should craft personal communities to fit the needs of their developing adult identity. Clara was a year-old white female and graduate student. I try to remember to go to them [my friends] Clara needed friends to support her so that she could support her partner.
The idea that she needed other people so that she could have a high-quality relationship with her romantic partner speaks to the importance and effort invested in companionate marriage often attributed to and valued by the middle-class. As peers started to have children, participants said they had fewer close friends and more of their close friends did not know each other. Participants were also concerned for their parents who seemed to become more isolated by turning inward to their marriage for primary companionship and social interaction, especially after retirement.
Participants described friend-like acquaintances and friendship as a bond in marital, dating, and family relationships. Duncan was a year-old male Latin American graduate student, in a non-exclusive couple. I asked him to describe the ideal intimate relationship. When Duncan described the rest of his family, he said that his most intimate familial relationship was with his sister. He had siblings, two parents, and an extended family that he stayed in contact with on a regular basis.
However, the fact that he considered his sister to be a friend even more than a sister strengthened this relationship and enhanced its supportive benefits for him in contrast to other comparable kinship relations. When friendship was a recognized bond that emerged in family relationships, the respondent prioritized that relationship above others in their personal community because the respondent benefitted from the strengths and weaknesses of different relationship types.
For example, family relationships existed regardless of the quality of the relationship itself. When respondents voluntarily chose to invest in a friendship with their family member, a family relationship was reliable, enduring, and enjoyable. Moreover, unlike marital relationships, unmarried respondents could usually choose when and how to activate the different benefits of family relationships because respondents did not usually live with family members.
Like my brother, his son was born premature He called, I flew down the next day When I separated from my ex-husband He drove up that night in his truck, drove 12 hours and packed up my apartment with me sobs while laughing. My brother is an ideal intimate relationship He came up here a couple months ago and we went to a patio bar. We spent seven hours just sitting out on the patio chatting, laughing, enjoying the sun and each other.
It seemed that the characteristics of a kinship relation with her brother and the benefits of friendship with him produced an enduring, low-maintenance, and supportive relationship that seemed tailored to her individual needs. When I asked Gina to rank her most intimate relationships for me, she replied: My romantic relationships are the most intimate, my friends would be the second, and my family would be the least, with the exception of my brother.
My brother would fall with my friends. Notably, Gina talks about why she does not get along with her parents and her other brother, which reinforces how friendship as an individualized relationship gives her the opportunity to receive social value from her relationships with one brother that she does not get from her other family members.
Specifically, for family members there were intimate relationships between siblings that were distinct from relationships with other siblings and relationships with parents because of the presence or lack of friendship in kinship relations. The negative case for friendly kin relationships The individualized marriage that helps individuals to develop and grow is a marker of middle-class status Cherlin, Respondents wanted their spouse to be a best friend and they recognized friendship as a distinct bond that should exist in their marital relationships.
However, the pressure of being best friends with a spouse could make a relationship more stressful. How much money do we have? Are we gonna have kids someday? The belief that anything can be learned, and that learning helps an individual to grow into adult maturity is a middle-class value. Friends helped to solidify a middle-class adult identity by helping respondents to learn how to process conflict and emotions in adult friendships, and how to be adults in their romantic and marital relationships.
Friendship in a parental relationship could also be negative for respondents and did not always strengthen a personal community. However, recognizing friendship in a parental relationship could help respondents to solidify their own adult identities. Evan was a year-old white male and undergraduate student in a non-exclusive couple at the time of the interview.
He seemed to come from a working-class background. Evan viewed his relationship with his father on the level of equal peers—someone to hang out with and probably not the preferred choice. Even though he uses the term friend when compared to his description of friendship and his interactions with his other friends, Evan did not actually consider his father a friend. He also did not think that he fulfilled the role of a father. Kendra also viewed her relationship with her mother as peer-like.
She often felt that she parented her mother and her brother. Consequently, people with a varied personal network may generally have more success with fulfilling their needs for sociability, companionship and support compared with people with a homogenous personal network, who may be more likely to experience feelings of social isolation or a lack of social support or companionship from time to time Walen and Lachman ; Weiss For these reasons, it is important to gain knowledge about the social composition of personal networks and how different types of relationships may or may not coexist in personal networks.
Existing knowledge about the association between family members and friends in the social network largely stems from research on how family status relates to the size and composition of personal networks e. In particular, the role of friends and their function in the network compared with that of family members is understudied. One exception is the study of Wrzus et al. In this study, we investigate the associations between a broad range of types of family members and non-family members in personal networks.
By addressing the presence of various types of family members, we expand upon the family status research tradition. Because of the active involvement of these personal contacts, they may have a great influence on the presence of other close and intimate relationships.
Furthermore, we examine how the presence and active involvement of specific types of family members and non-family members are mutually associated.
To this end, we distinguish between a partner, children, parents and siblings as family members and friends, neighbours and colleagues as non-family members. Thus, we examine how the presence and active role of specific types of family members affect the inclusion of other types of family members and of non-family members in personal networks and vice versa. More precisely, we ask the following question: How does the number and presence of specific types of personal contacts depend on a having specific types of family members and b the active involvement of specific types of family members and non-family members in the personal network?
The Netherlands, like other North-western European countries, has reached a high standard of living in the last decades. Although welfare expenditures are declining or at least are intended to do sothe Netherlands has still one of the most generous welfare states in the world. With public expenditures of Consequently, citizens generally do not have to rely for support on their social network, and are vice versa less often asked to give extensive help.
This creates opportunities to build large social networks based on choice Van Oorschot and Artsand might be one of the reasons why the Dutch are less family oriented than citizens of, for instance, Southern European countries Fokkema et al.
Although the public and political climate regarding ethnic minorities has changed drastically and became increasingly negative towards immigration, immigration levels are still limited in the Netherlands Van Doorn et al.
Despite increasing antagonism, compared to citizens in other western countries, citizens in the Netherlands are known to have high levels of informal social capital and social trust c. The size of personal networks remained stable over the past decade and is comparable to that in other western countries such as Germany and the United States Mollenhorst et al. Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses Meeting Opportunities, Competition, and Social Influence The presence and active involvement of specific types of family members and non-family members in personal networks may be associated with each other for at least three reasons: