Friendship and Academically Rigorous School

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Friendship is a relationship and concern between individuals and provides positive emotional support. Friends care for one another and look out for each other. In order for a deep understanding to occur between friends it requires opening up about personal things, listening carefully, and being loyal to one another. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum and are sometimes viewed as weaknesses. The study of friendship is included in the fields of sociology, social psychology, anthropology,philosophy, and zoology. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, among which are social exchange theory, equity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles. Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis: * The tendency to desire what is best for the other

* Sympathy and empathy
* Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart * Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support * Enjoyment of each other's company

* Trust in one another
* Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give-and-take between the two parties.

The Study of Friendships in Adolescent Development
Friendships in adolescent development include positive influences on how they act, feel, and think, and also problematic aspects including negative peer pressure. Which one is more prominent? To find out one needs to consider the characteristics of friends and how these friendships form. A study was conducted by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health where 9,234 American adolescents were examined to determine how their engagement in problem behavior (stealing, fighting, sexual activity, truancy) was related to the kinds of friends they had and to the peer networks...
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