Associations between friend conflict and affective states in the daily lives of adolescents

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study examined the associations between friend conflict, defined as arguments with friends, and affective states using a daily diary design in a community sample of adolescents. Participants were 100 U.S. adolescents (13-17 years; 40% girls; 79% white). Adolescents completed an online survey on 14 consecutive evenings. Adolescents reported significantly higher anger/hostility, confusion, and tension/anxiety and less friendliness on days during which they experienced friend conflict relative to no-conflict days. However, no same-day associations for depressed affect, fatigue, or vigor were found. Adolescents experiencing friend conflict reported increased next-day anger/hostility, depressed affect, and tension/anxiety, but not other affective states. Higher levels of anger/hostility and depressed affect predicted an increased likelihood of next-day friend conflict. Conversely, higher levels of friendliness and vigor predicted a decreased likelihood of next-day friend conflict. These findings suggest that directional relationships between adolescents’ friend conflicts and their affective states vary by affective domain.

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