Basic Friendship Principles


How do you really chose your friends?  According to one study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) students are more likely to select friends within their own racial group when schools are only moderately mixed.  The same study showed the more racially diverse a school is,  the higher the racial diversity of its students selection of friends.  This study can be found in the November 2011 American Journal of Sociology.  In one report from Yale University that studied 194 heart attack patients, those who had a solid emotional support system were more likely to be alive six months following their initial heart attack.  20 years ago most individuals had an average of 3 friends compared to in 2004 most individuals only had 2 friends according to the American Sociological Review.

Friends can often be classified as being reciprocal, desired and choice friendships.  Reciprocal friends are those that are friends who equally view each other as relational friends.  Desired friends are friends that are really are not ones true friends but because of necessary and sometimes coincidental interactions one would like for a friendship to exist.  Choice friendships are friends that one makes a conscience effort to have in the relationship for social, political, or other purposes.

The more similar students backgrounds the more probable they are to develop friendships according to James Moody Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.  Students can easily share a school environment for 12 years and remain for the most part in segregation racially, socially, and economically.  Moody also argued that schools with only two primary races more often than not develops an “us verses them” attitude.  It was also found that the greater the number of integrated extracurricular activities the higher the number of interracial and cross racial relationships.


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