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01-08-2009 | Uitgave 6/2009

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2009

The Role of Inflexible Friendship Beliefs, Rumination, and Low Self-worth in Early Adolescents’ Friendship Jealousy and Adjustment

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 6/2009
Kristen L. Lavallee, Jeffrey G. Parker
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master’s degree awarded to the first author by The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, and was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant BCS0451261, awarded to the second author. Portions of this study were presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL, April 2003. We deeply appreciate the students and staff of Tyrone Area School District for their assistance and participation in the project, as well as the research assistants and graduate students of the Friendship Project at The Pennsylvania State University for their assistance in data collection.


Two focal social cognitive processes were evaluated in a structural model for their direct and indirect roles in early adolescents’ jealousy surrounding their closest friend in a sample of 325 early adolescents (169 girls and 156 boys) ages 11–14 years. Individuals who are rigid and unrealistic about meeting their friendship needs were more vulnerable to feelings of jealousy than individuals who think more flexibly. Inflexible individuals also engage in more jealousy-driven surveillance and other problem behavior towards their friends. Stronger jealous feelings and behavior were related, in turn, to greater conflict with friends and to a vulnerability to emotional maladjustment. In addition, young adolescents who tended to ruminate over friendship problems were also more vulnerable to jealousy. Inflexible attitudes and friendship rumination were positively associated. Results extend recent models of friendship jealousy that focus only on early adolescents’ self-worth.

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