University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Kathleen McCartney, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Psychology
Synchrony in Adolescent Best Friend Interactions
This study examined the level of synchrony in social interactions occurring between adolescent best friend dyads. Thirty-six girls and their best friends, between the ages of 15 and 18 years, were recruited to participate in the study. They were videotaped while discussing unresolved issues each adolescent had experienced in her life. Security with parents was assessed with a questionnaire.
The interactions of the dyads were coded for three behaviors: face-directed gaze, vocalization, and smiling/laughter. The interactions included two 5 minute tasks. Behaviors were coded for each task using time-sampling every 5 seconds. Synchrony will be assessed by correlating behaviors of the two best friends.
It is hypothesized that secure dyads will have more synchronous interactions for face-directed gaze and smiling/laughter than insecure dyads. More specifically, secure dyads are expected to have higher positive correlations for face-directed gaze and smiling/laughter than insecure dyads. It is also hypothesized that secure dyads will have asynchronous interactions for vocalization, thus it is expected that secure dyads will have more negative correlations for vocalization than insecure dyads. Asynchrony is predicted for vocalization because the adolescents are not expected to speak at the same time. Findings will be discussed with respect to attachment theory.