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Close friendships and the development of psychological resilience across the lifespan: A dual cohort study

Graber, Rebecca (2013) Close friendships and the development of psychological resilience across the lifespan: A dual cohort study. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

In a novel contribution to the literature, this research employs a social psychological approach to the meaning, import and impact of a single, supportive close friendship upon experiences and processes underpinning resilience in socioeconomically vulnerable adolescents, using a conceptual comparison with adults. A critical literature review interrogating the concept of subjective psychological resilience demonstrates the need to investigate the potential protective role of a single close friendship. The thesis uses a pragmatic mixed methods approach employing the complementary strengths of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. First, a cross-sectional correlational study of 409 socioeconomically vulnerable adolescents aged 11-19 years uses structural equation modelling analyses to develop an Adolescent Friendship and Resilience Model. A supportive close friendship is revealed to contribute to psychological resilience processes in these boys and girls, particularly by facilitating constructive coping. A longitudinal correlational study of 121 of these adolescents shows effects did not persist over one year. Longitudinal analysis of variance with this sample shows differences between resilience-promotion and risk-reduction as distinct resources are developed or attenuated along adolescents’ trajectories of increasing or decreasing risk. Next, a longitudinal correlational design and analysis of variance within a community sample of 75 adults aged 35-55 explores developmental components to the relationship between friendship and resilience. A single close friendship is shown to facilitate resilience, although explanatory mechanisms are unclear. Finally, analysis of semi-structured interviews with 14 socioeconomically vulnerable adolescents using a novel combination of thematic analysis and empirical phenomenology reveals interlinked experiences of close friendship and resilience support as spatial. The distinct studies are interweaved into a coherent understanding of the relationship between close friendships and psychological resilience. The research extends and re-conceptualises understandings of psychological resilience amongst socioeconomically vulnerable adolescents and over the lifespan, showing the capacities of a single close friendship to nourish strength, meaning, and growth.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-547-2
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Psychological Sciences (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.595112
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2014 11:44
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5234

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