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Social Goals and Adolescent Friendships: Social Selection, Deselection, and Influence


Requests for reprints should be sent to Tiina Ojanen, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620. E-mail:


This study examined adolescent friendship selection and social influence with regard to agentic (status and power) and communal (closeness and affiliation) goals at three waves during middle school (= 504; 12–14 years; 53% boys). Meta-level findings across four friendship networks indicated social influence for both goal orientations: friends grew more similar to each other in agentic as well as communal goals. Moreover, in one friendship network, similarity in agentic goals predicted friendship deselection or termination of these relationships over time. Theoretical and practical implications for the study of adolescent social goals and friendships are discussed.