The role of emotion identification skill in the formation of male and female friendships: A longitudinal study
The present study explored the relationship between emotion identification skill (EIS) and friendships in adolescence. Students from five Australian high schools completed questionnaires annually from Grade 8 to Grade 12 including subjective measures of EIS and a peer-based objective measure of social functioning (e.g., friendship nominations). The total sample of participants was 795 (406 males; 389 females) with 468 (225 males; 243 females) completing questionnaires in Grade 12. EIS in early adolescence was predictive of friendships for females in late adolescence. Specifically, girls starting out with low EIS in Grade 8 tended to have fewer female friendships and more male friendships in Grade 12. There were no effects for males. Lower initial EIS was associated with significant improvements in awareness over time, but these improvements had no effect on friendships in Grade 12. The EIS that girls enter high school with may influence their friendship composition into late adolescence.