Self-monitoring and former best friends: individual differences in friendship dissolution
Across two investigations, we explored self-monitoring differences in the causes of relationship dissolution with best friends and if such differences are best captured by a univariate model or bivariate model of self-monitoring. Causes of friendship dissolution often mirror the reasons for friendship formation. Accordingly, we hypothesized that high self-monitors would report a change in shared activities as the reason for dissolving a relationship with a best friend, whereas low self-monitors would report a change in personal compatibility as the reason for dissolving a relationship with a best friend. In both studies, participants focused on a former best friend and indicated which of two causes (Study 1: loss of shared activities vs. loss of shared attitudes and values; Study 2: change in life circumstances vs. change in broad dispositions) was more influential in ending that friendship. They also completed the Self-Monitoring Scale; scores were used to create indices of self-monitoring in its univariate and bivariate (acquisitive vs. protective) forms. In both studies, protective self-monitoring was more consistently related to reasons for friendship dissolution, such that (a) high self-monitoring was associated with a loss of shared interests and (b) low self-monitoring was associated with a loss of personal compatibility as the bases for friendship dissolution. Effects were independent of potential third variables. Implications (e.g., nuanced assessment of self-monitoring), limitations (e.g., absence of longitudinal designs), and future directions (e.g., examining actor-partner effects) are discussed.
The Journal of general psychology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Leone, Christopher and Yoho, Michael J., "Self-monitoring and former best friends: individual differences in friendship dissolution" (2022). UNF Faculty Research and Scholarship. 3205.