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Volume 3 Issue 2 (July 1994), Pages 89-188

Adolescents' disclosure to best and good friends: The effects of gender and topic intimacy (pages 146-157)


The disclosure of 227 7th‐ through 12th‐grade adolescents to four other persons – their closest same‐ and cross‐sex best friends, and lesser‐but‐good same‐ and cross‐sex friends – about 40 topics varying widely in intimacy was examined; in addition, each subject rated every topic's intimacy. A (2) gender × (2) friend's gender × (2) closeness × (3) age × (3) intimacy level ANOVA yielded two large main effects (partial ω2 > .15), closeness and topic intimacy. Three large interaction effects – gender by friend's gender, friend's gender by intimacy, and gender by closeness by intimacy – were also found, as was a moderate‐sized closeness by gender by friend's gender interaction (partial co2= .08). A number of other effects were statistically significant but of only small magnitude. The perceived intimacy of 6 of the studied topics varied across age groups, and one topic, “your weight” was rated differently by males and females. The data are discussed in relation to previous research on adolescent gender differences in friendship and disclosure.

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