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The Internal Structure of Friendship
The internal structure of friendship

In Chapter 1 we discussed the components of friendship patterns, including structure, processes, and phases. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 present research on these components. We report the findings by stage of the life course with emphasis on the effects of gender. The differences in friendship patterns across age groups and genders discussed in the next three chapters are subject to the alternative interpretations mentioned in Chapter 1. Age is a proxy measure for both stage of the life course and stage of development. Sometimes age group differences also reflect cohort differences—changes in the way people born and socialized during different periods of history behave and feel. Gender effects can reflect differences in psychological dispositions or ...

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