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Benjamin Steinberg, Rachel L. Grover, Ph.D.

Social Skills and Wellbeing in Emerging Adults: The Mediating Role of Friendship Quality

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Currently, there is a paucity of research investigating the importance and implications of friendships in emerging adulthood (the time period from 18 to 25). Contemporary research suggests that social skills are related to the quality of friendships, and that social skills are also related to well-being outcomes (Burhmester, Furman, Wittenberg, & Reis, 1988; Demir & Ozdemir, 2010).  Because of these findings, we posit that social skills may be related to well-being, and that friendship quality may mediate that relation.  Thus, emerging adults with greater social skills will likely develop higher quality friendships, which then afford them the support necessary for higher levels of well-being. 

The present study will use a correlational design to determine the relations among social skills, friendship quality, and well-being (both psychological and academic) among emerging adults.  The Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire will measure social skills, the Network of Relations Inventory will measure friendship quality (both positive and negative aspects), and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire and Symptom-Checklist-90-Revised will measure academic and psychological well-being, respectively. Data will be acquired through online surveys taken by a sample of Loyola University Maryland students. Results will be analyzed through correlations and multiple regression analyses. Findings may inform our current knowledge of friendships in emerging adulthood and may highlight avenues for intervention. 


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