A Mixed-Method Approach to Study Friendship Quality and Well-Being




Stepanyan, Maria

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This convergent mixed-methods study investigated a three-facet conceptualization of the quality of friendship, through the lens of self-determination theory, and how this conceptualization interacted with the type of friendship and thus predicted well-being. Previous research has examined the independent relationship between psychological need support, need satisfaction, and motivation on well-being. However, this study proposes that high-quality friendships support an individual’s psychological needs, satisfy an individual’s psychological needs, and are engaged for autonomous reasons. Survey (n = 306) and interview data (n = 19) were collected simultaneously. Quantitative results indicated that the conceptualization of the quality of friendship is valid and associated with well-being. However, the quality of friendship is not associated with the type of friendship and there is no interaction between the two concepts and well-being. Qualitative findings revealed close friendships were of higher quality than casual friendships. This study expands the friendship literature and offers an alternative measure of the quality of friendship.



Mixed Method, Self-determination theory, Friendship, Well-being