In a Duke University study out November 22, researchers found that pre-teen girls may not be any better at friendships than boys, despite previous research suggesting otherwise. The findings suggest that when more serious violations of a friendship occur, girls struggle just as much and, in some ways, even more than boys.

The girls in this study were just as likely as boys to report that they would seek revenge against an offending friend, verbally attack the friend and threaten to end the friendship when their expectations were violated, such as telling one of their secrets to other children.

The girls also reported they were more bothered by the transgressions, felt more anger and sadness, and were more likely to think the offense meant their friend did not care about them or was trying to control them…

“Our finding that girls would be just as vengeful and aggressive toward their friends as the boys is particularly interesting because past research has consistently shown boys to react more negatively following minor conflicts with friends, such as an argument about which game to play next,” Asher said. “It appears that friendship transgressions and conflicts of interest may push different buttons for boys and girls.”

The study found that anger and sadness played significant roles in how boys and girls reacted to offending friends. For both genders, the more strongly they felt a friend had devalued them or was trying to control them, the more anger and sadness they felt.

The angrier they felt, the less likely they wanted to fix the relationship. But feelings of sadness actually motivated both genders toward reconciliation: The more sadness the children reported feeling, the stronger their desire was to want to solve the problem and maintain the friendship.

Sadness, the authors said, can sometimes function like “social glue” that holds relationships together. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about betrayal of friendship involving pre-teen girls.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a childhood friend who betrayed your trust and friendship.

Art Prompt: Girlfriends

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about betrayal in pre-teen girls

Photo Credit: Dottie Mae on Flickr

4 Responses to Prompt #257 Childhood Friendships

  1. Rob McLeod says:

    Sometimes I wonder how others can go through life without a “true” friend? I have 2 or 3 “true friends”. My wife doesn’t really count because she is my “Soul Mate”.

    I have a couple of guys that I have known since before first grade. We played together, had crushes on the same girls together. Later we worked summer jobs together. We had disputes, got angry, made up (about two seconds later)and built a trust that is known by only a few.

    Oddly enough, we live in 3 different states. We talk to each other maybe once or twice a year. So why is it that today, this very moment, I would trust my life and the lives of those most precious to me, in the hands of these men? I believe for me it was going through those most formative years together. Experiencing the hardest times of our lives and understanding what that feels like. Because we were feeling the same things and dealing with the same confusing things that make us grow up.

    It is a very special thing to know those special friends are there. That’s why when my Dad just recently became very sick, I was relieved to see a best friend’s name come up on my caller ID. I didn’t think to call him,, but he knew he needed to call.

    I have one other person that I consider a best friend. We didn’t really grow up together, however, we raised our kids together. Those tough “how do we do this” days of raising children brings about another form of trust that carries on through the years. So to this day We make monthly phone calls to this couple in Idaho and share our on-going struggles, fears, and joys! I love the sign my wife found that says; “The Best Antiques…are Old Friends!”

  2. SRCarson says:

    This isn’t a direct response to your prompt about teenage girls and betrayal, since I have no idea about it.
    However it is about a childhood friend:

    http://srcarson.com/my-late-friend-did-you-hear-my-prayer-that-day/
    SRCarson recently posted..Inspired By The Bouncy Raven Haired PendulumMy Profile

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