Interpersonal needs in middle adolescents: companionship, leadership and intimacy

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Bakken, Linda
Romig, Charles A.

Journal of adolescence. 1992 Sep; 15(3): 301-16.


Recent research suggests that, along with identity, intimacy is an important developmental construct during adolescence. Are there gender differences in current society regarding intimacy development? Two hundred and seven middle adolescents (70 males and 137 females) were measured using Schutz's (1958) Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Inventory (FIRO). The FIRO is a self-report survey which assesses the subject's perceived expressions and perceived desires in three categories of interpersonal relationships: Inclusion (companionship), control (leadership), and affection (intimacy). Results indicated that there were differences in expression of inclusion, control, and affection, and desire for inclusion and affection. A second analysis addressed the perceived ranking in importance of the three interpersonal categories measured. Males ranked control expressed highest and affection desired lowest; females ranked affection desired as highest and control expressed lowest. Both groups ranked inclusion desired and expressed as moderate. The current research suggests that gender differences in the development of intimacy may occur as early as middle adolescence.

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