Emerging adults share the positive events in their lives with their friends, a process that is related to higher levels of happiness when they perceive their friends’ responses as more positive and less negative. What might explain this association? The four studies (N = 2997) in this research tested the proposal that positive friendship experiences mediate the relationship between perceived responses to capitalization attempts (PRCA) and happiness. Study 1 showed that same-sex friendship quality mediated the relationship between PRCA and happiness. Study 2 supported the model for cross-sex friendships. Study 3 tested the generalizability of the model for the immediate social network of emerging adults and showed that the model was only applicable to best friendships. Study 4 documented that satisfaction of basic psychological needs in a same-sex friendship was another mediator of the PRCA-happiness link. Although the friendship experiences and PRCA scores of women were higher compared to men in every study, the associations of PRCA with friendship experiences and happiness were generally similar and the model was supported for both men and women. The implications of the findings were discussed and suggestions for future research were provided.
- Emerging adulthood
- Gender differences
- Perceived responses to capitalization attempts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)