“In this marvelous book, Beverly Fehr presents a comprehensive and richly detailed examination of what scholars have learned about the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of friendships…. Overall, a model of careful scholarship, clear writing, and good sense. For anyone studying friendships, there is no better place to start. This is perhaps the best book of its kind.” --Choice Friends are an integral part of our lives--they sometimes replace family relationships and often form the basis for romantic relationships. Friendship Processes, new in the Sage Series on Close Relationships, examines exactly how friends give meaning to our lives and why we rely so heavily on them. Broad in its coverage, the book is process oriented and research based with each phase of the friendship process documented by empirical research. The result is a conceptual framework that illuminates the fascinating components of how we make friends, how we become close, how we maintain friends, and how friendships deteriorate and dissolve. Author Beverley Fehr equips the reader with valuable knowledge about the formations and continuations of the intriguing personal relationship called friendship. Friendship Processes also illustrates well the fact that, as a field of study, close relationships is maturing rapidly. Promising to be the definitive study of the subject for many years to come, this book will be of particular interest to professionals, academics, and students of social psychology, sociology, communication, family studies, and social work as well as any interested reader who is anxious to deepen his or her understanding and appreciation of a very engaging topic.

The Meaning of Friendship

The meaning of friendship

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1868)

Friendships are clearly a core aspect of our lives. Yet the scientific study of this important relationship is relatively recent. In this book, research on friendship is presented, integrated, and discussed in order to paint a portrait of what is currently known about this fascinating relationship. The focus will be on friendship processes—the “how” of friendship. I will draw on extant research to answer questions such as: How do friendships form? How do they become close? How are they maintained? and finally, How do friendships end? Most of the research on these issues has been conducted with college students. However, research on children's and adolescents' friendships ...

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