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Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2006, Vol. 74, No. 3, 511–523 Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association 0022-006X/06/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.74.3.511 Intercommunity Relocation and Adolescent Friendships: Who Struggles and Why? Eric M. Vernberg, Andrea F. Greenhoot, and Bridget K. Biggs This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. University of Kansas This study examined how relocation to a new community affects intimacy and companionship in close friendships by comparing experiences of early adolescents who began their 7th or 8th grade school year in a new community (111 boys, 96 girls) with those of residentially stable agemates (30 boys, 38 girls). Drawing from a developmental– contextual, multisystem conceptual framework and using a personcentered analytic approach, the study provides strong evidence that most adolescents experience a relatively brief period of diminished access to companionship and intimacy with close friends following relocation. The extent of diminution may be greater for adolescents with social anxiety or behavioral concerns. Findings have implications for families who are facing a move and for clinicians working with recently relocated adolescents. Keywords: adolescence, friendships, relocation The current study focuses on relocation to a new community during early adolescence and examines individual differences in two key aspects of adolescents’ close friendships, intimacy and companionship, in the year following relocation. Intimacy in adolescent friendships reflects self-disclosure, trust, and feelings of connectedness (Buhrmester, 1990). This aspect of friendships is thought to be important for feelings of acceptance, emotional closeness, and liking by a valued peer, and it also sets the stage for social support and problem solving (Berndt, 1992; Buhrmester & Furman, 1987). Girls generally rate intimacy in relationships as more important than boys do, and close friendships appear to provide a particularly important source of intimacy for girls by early adolescence (Buhrmester & Furman, 1987). Companionship refers to the amount of time friends spend together in various contexts and activities. This coparticipation in activities reflects liking and acceptance and also provides an opportunity for shared pleasurable experiences (Furman & Robbins, 1985). Because agerelated changes in intimacy and companionship may be confounded with relocation effects, the study also includes a sample of residentially stable adolescents. Drawing from a developmental– contextual, multisystem conceptual framework (e.g., Lerner, 2002; Masten, 2005), we assess the impact of relocation on intimacy and companionship in close friendships and consider how individual, familial, and contextual factors may play a role in shaping these experiences. Relocation to a new community during early adolescence presents numerous challenges and opportunities at a period of development characterized by marked biological, cognitive, and social changes. Almost invariably, intercommunity relocation requires a change of schools and the loss or lessening of most premove personal social ties outside the immediate household. Parents of relocating adolescents often express concern about potential disruptions in their child’s social networks and academic careers. Adolescents facing relocation also express concern about leaving familiar friendships, making new friends, and entering a new school (Vernberg & Randall, 1997). Success in making friends may facilitate adolescents’ adaptation to their new home and help them recover from homesickness (Van Tilburg, Vingerhoets, & Van Heck, 1999). Alternatively, difficulties in establishing close friendships may contribute to personal distress, such as feelings of loneliness (Hoza, Bukowski, & Beery, 2000), depression (Nangle, Erdley, Newman, Mason, & Carpenter, 2003), or social anxiety (La Greca & Harrison, 2005). Despite these concerns, research on the impact of relocation on adolescents’ peer relationships remains sparse and inconclusive. From a practical standpoint, it is important to develop evidencebased methods to gauge the likelihood that an individual adolescent will struggle with friendship formation after relocating. Such knowledge may be useful to parents as they weigh the costs and benefits of intercommunity relocation. Equally important, this research may suggest strategies for clinicians who may be involved in efforts to lessen negative impacts of relocation for adolescents who typically struggle after moving. Individual Characteristics and Close Friendships Previous research suggests that a constellation of adolescent characteristics may affect the development of close friendships. First, behavioral adjustment has major implications for children’s peer experiences in general (Parker, Rubin, Price, & DeRosier, 1995). Whereas being engaging, considerate of others, and mindful of social rules can lead to acceptance by peers, maladaptive behaviors such as aggression, withdrawal, or depressive symptoms can lead to rejection by agemates (Coie, Dodge, & Kuperschmidt, 1990; Dill, Vernberg, Fonagy, Twemlow, & Gamm, 2004; Rubin, Eric M. Vernberg, Andrea F. Greenhoot, and Bridget K. Biggs, Clinical Child Psychology Program, University of Kansas. This research was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health Grant RO3MH46996 to Eric M. Vernberg. We thank Margaret R. Burchinal for her advice regarding the analyses of these data. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Eric M. Vernberg, Clinical Child Psychology Program, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail: 511 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 512 VERNBERG, GREENHOOT, AND BIGGS LeMare, & Lollis, 1990; Schwartz, McFadyen-Ketchum, Dodge, Pettit, & Bates, 1999; Vernberg, 1990b). Specific to forming friendships, children who have difficulty making friends tend to be withdrawn, easily angered, and less prosocial than their peers (Parker & Seal, 1996). Even if adolescents successfully make friends, some have difficulty keeping those friendships if they are bossy or aggressive (Parker & Seal, 1996), suggesting that socially undesirable behaviors may affect the quality of friendships as well as acceptance from the larger peer group. A second group of individual characteristics that may influence friendship formation involves adolescents’ confidence and ease in social situations. Self-perceptions of how much one is liked and accepted by peers may affect friendship formation in multiple ways, such as influencing decisions to initiate and pursue contacts with potential friends and shaping interpretations and emotional reactions to interpersonal events (Aikins, Bierman, & Parker, 2005; Azmitia, Ittel, & Radmacher, 2005; La Greca & Lopez, 1998). Adolescents with lower perceived peer acceptance also report higher levels of social anxiety, and a linkage has been proposed between persistent feelings of distress during social interactions with peers, low sense of social acceptance, and poorer qualities in friendships (La Greca & Harrison, 2005; La Greca & Lopez, 1998). Specific to friendship formation after relocation, adolescents who reported high levels of general social avoidance and distress were found to have greater difficulty forming close friendships after moving to a new community (Vernberg, Abwender, Ewell, & Beery, 1992). In the current investigation, we used a person-centered approach to relate adolescent characteristics to friendship patterns over time. Specifically, our strategy was to identify profiles of adolescents who were similar in terms of their behavioral adjustment and social confidence and relate those profiles to friendship measures. This approach is consistent with an emerging consensus view of individual functioning and development as an integrated, holistic process (e.g., Lerner, 2002; Magnusson, 1995; Thelen & Smith, 1998). Person-centered methods have been shown to be powerful tools for exploring individual differences in developmental trajectories (e.g., Bergman, 2001; Bergman & Magnusson, 1997; Bergman, Magnusson, & Bassam, 2003). In this study, person-centered analyses were selected to aid in the identification of individual profiles that characterize adolescents who tend to struggle most in their friendships. Family Factors and Close Friendships Although adolescence is perceived as a period of growing autonomy and independence, many adolescents continue to rely on their parents for support, particularly in times of transition and stress (Lieberman, Doyle, & Markiewicz, 1999; Vernberg & Field, 1990). Close parent⫺adolescent relationships are associated with fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, less antisocial behavior (Hartos & Power, 2000; Steinberg & Morris, 2001), and greater intimacy in friendships (Lieberman et al., 1999). Adolescents whose familial support is diminished by poor relationships with their parents or by a parent’s absence might be less likely to receive their parents’ support and assistance in making new friends and in problem solving about friendship issues (Vernberg & Field, 1990). Parents may also facilitate the formation of relocated adolescents’ friendships actively by meeting parents of other adoles- cents and providing opportunities for their adolescents to socialize with friends (Vernberg, Beery, Ewell, & Abwender, 1993). Siblings provide another potential source of support and linkage to peer networks (Steinberg & Morris, 2001). For this study, we considered the roles of parent friendship facilitation behaviors as well as adolescent-perceived maternal closeness, presence of a father (or father figure) in the home, and the presence of siblings in the household. Contextual Factors and Close Friendships The impact of relocation on adolescent friendships could depend in part on circumstances surrounding the family’s move, such as the number of previous moves, how satisfied the family is with their current community, and the amount of stress the family is experiencing. Although frequent moves may be seen as an indicator of stress or family instability (Pribesh & Downey, 1999), adolescents who have moved previously may have developed the skills necessary for seeking out companionship and intimacy in new friendships or may be particularly flexible in their expectations of a new home (Vernberg & Randall, 1997). Adolescents who view the relocation to a new community positively will likely be more invested in settling into their new home and in making friends than those who continue to yearn for their old community (Vernberg & Randall, 1997). The presence of other changes or stressors in addition to relocation could further influence an adolescent’s ability to form new friendships by diverting time and energy from social pursuits and by detracting from the parents’ ability to provide support that could help their adolescents make new friends. Summary and Predictions In the current study, we take a person-oriented approach to understanding adolescents’ friendships following relocation into a new community by examining how adolescents grouped on the basis of socially relevant personal characteristics fared in their friendships throughout one school year. We chose the period of one school year because prior research suggested that adolescents develop new social networks fairly rapidly after relocation to a new community (Vernberg, 1990a), and we wanted to gather data during the time frame when rapid changes in friendships were likely to occur. We examine the impact of relocation on patterns of friendship, companionship, and intimacy for each group, and look at whether family and contextual factors moderate the effects of relocation over and above teens’ personal characteristics. We expected relocated adolescents to experience a drop in companionship and intimacy in the period shortly after relocation, but we also predicted an increase several months after relocation as the adolescents established new social networks. In contrast, we expected geographically stable peers to have relatively consistent companionship and intimacy scores over the school year. Nonetheless, we also expected these patterns to be moderated by the characteristics of individual adolescents. Specifically, we hypothesized that adolescents who exhibit relatively few behavior problems and have positive views of themselves in social situations would fare best in forming quality friendships, whereas adolescents with either behavioral difficulties or negative perceptions of their social abilities would struggle with this task. INTERCOMMUNITY RELOCATION AND FRIENDSHIPS This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. We also anticipated that individual friendship patterns following relocation would vary according to family characteristics and the circumstances surrounding relocation, over and above the influence of adolescent characteristics. We expected that a close relationship with one’s mother, the presence of the adolescent’s father in the home, and parents’ use of friendship facilitation strategies would predict greater companionship and intimacy in adolescents’ friendships. In addition, we expected satisfaction with the new community and relatively low levels of stress to be predictive of greater companionship and intimacy. Because of a paucity of research on the effect of relocation frequency on quality of peer friendships, no specific predictions were made regarding the effect of the number of prior moves on friendship quality. Method Participants A total of 328 adolescents (171 boys and 157 girls) and their mothers participated in the study. Of this total, 249 (134 boys and 115 girls) began the academic year in the seventh or eighth grade of a new school because of an intercommunity change of residence (relocated), and 79 (37 boys and 42 girls) had not moved for at least 2 years prior to recruitment (stable). Adolescents’ ages ranged from 12 to 14 years old (M ⫽ 13.1, SD ⫽ 0.75). The sample was ethnically diverse (46.9% White, 38.8% Hispanic American, 10.9% African American, 3.3% Asian American), and predominantly middle class as determined by Hollingshead’s Four Factor Index of Socioeconomic Status (SES; M ⫽ 47.50, SD ⫽ 11.99; Hollingshead, 1975). Participants were recruited over six consecutive academic years with the aid of the Dade County (Florida) Public School System. To recruit the relocated sample, the school system provided names and addresses of all seventh and eighth grade students from eight middle schools (sixth through eighth grade) who had enrolled in the system for the first time in the 3 months prior to the beginning of the academic year. For the stable sample, the school system provided identifying information on all seventh and eighth grade students who had been enrolled continuously in the participating schools or their elementary feeder schools for at least 2 years prior to the study. All of the schools were in suburban areas of Miami, Florida, and ranged in size from 1,200 to 2,400 students. Letters describing the project were sent to a subset of families randomly selected from the rosters provided by the school district. Project staff followed up by telephone to determine whether adolescents met the inclusion criteria and to invite their families to participate in the study. Approximately 50% of the adolescents in the relocated group who were contacted by telephone and met eligibility criteria, and 45% of those who contacted by telephone and met eligibility criteria for the stable group agreed to participate and completed the first interview session (N ⫽ 328). Primary reasons for declining to participate included lack of time or an unwillingness to participate by either the adolescent or the parents. Attrition over the course of the three interviews and missing data on one or more predictors left 275 mother⫺adolescent pairs (111 relocated boys, 96 relocated girls, 30 stable boys, and 38 stable girls) available for analyses involving the first two measurement periods, and 254 (97 relocated boys, 91 relocated girls, 30 stable boys, and 36 stable girls) for analyses involving all three time periods. Participants who completed only the first measurement period were not included in the analyses. The 21 adolescents who were missing data at the third assessment did not differ significantly from the remainder of the sample on any of the outcome or predictor variables of interest. Among the 275 mother⫺adolescent pairs who completed the first two measurements, 19 moved within the state, 112 moved from other states in the United States, and 76 moved from outside the United States. Of those who moved from abroad, 46 were proficient in English (either U.S. natives 513 or residents of English-speaking countries), and 30 spoke Spanish with only limited English language skills at the time of relocation. Reasons for the move were varied and included employment opportunities (48%), family circumstances (25%), and improved living conditions (23%). The relocated and stable samples did not differ significantly in age, gender, ethnic composition, SES, or household composition (i.e., one-parent vs. two-parent). Procedures Three interview/questionnaire sessions were conducted in the adolescents’ homes over an 8-month period. Interviewers were graduate and upper level undergraduate psychology students who received extensive training in interviewing techniques and measure administration. A subset of interviewers were bilingual (English and Spanish), and Spanishlanguage versions of all measures were available for parents and adolescents who expressed a preference for administration in Spanish. The first session took place as soon as possible after the start of the school year (September) to assess characteristics of the adolescent’s friendships at the end of the previous school year. This provided an estimate of premove friendships for the relocated adolescents and of friendships during the previous school year for the stable adolescents. The second and third sessions took place in November and April and assessed adolescents’ postmove peer relationships and adjustment. These sessions are also referred to as Time 1, Time 2, and Time 3, respectively. Each interview/questionnaire session lasted approximately 2 hours. At the beginning of the first interview, the interviewer orally reviewed the written material explaining the purpose of the research, the procedures to be used, and the safeguards for participants in human research to both the parent and adolescent, who then signed parental consent and adolescent assent forms. During each interview session, the interviewer conducted a structured interview with the adolescent while the mother completed a set of questionnaires. The mother then participated in a brief structured interview while the adolescent completed a series of pencil and paper questionnaires. Adolescents received $10.00 for each interview session. Measures Individual Characteristics Measures in this section were selected to reflect relatively stable attributes of adolescents that might be related to friendship formation during adolescence. Measures of self-perceptions, behavioral adjustment, and social anxiety were gathered during Time 1. General intellectual ability was measured at Time 2. Behavioral adjustment. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach, 1991) as an indicator of adolescents’ behavioral adjustment. Adolescents’ scores (represented by T scores) on the Externalizing (disruptive behavior problems) and Internalizing (internally experienced negative emotions) scales were used in the analyses. These represent the two major dimensions of problem behaviors measured by the CBCL and have been demonstrated to be internally consistent, stable across time, and valid for assessing a wide-range of emotional and behavioral problems (Achenbach, 1991). Social acceptance by peers. The Social Acceptance scale of the SelfPerception Profile for Children (Harter, 1982) provided an indicator of the adolescent’s sense of being generally accepted and liked by peers. The Social Acceptance scale consists of 6 items of opposing statements (e.g., “Some kids find it hard to make friends, BUT other kids find it pretty easy”), and participants indicate which statement is true of them and how true of them it is (i.e., “Sort of true” or “Really true”). Each response is given a score from 1 to 4. Responses to items are averaged within each subscale. Evaluations of the scale’s psychometric properties support its internal consistency, stability, and content, construct, and discriminate validity (Harter, 1982). This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 514 VERNBERG, GREENHOOT, AND BIGGS Social anxiety. Adolescents’ self-reported discomfort and anxiety in social situations was measured by the General Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD-G) subscale of the Social Anxiety Scale for Children— Revised (SASC⫺R; La Greca, 1998) because this subscale has shown the strongest relation to friendship qualities of interest in this study (La Greca & Lopez, 1998; Vernberg et al., 1992). The SAD-G includes four items reflecting general behavioral inhibition in interactions with familiar peers and friends (e.g., “I feel shy even with kids I know very well”). These are answered on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (all the time). Investigations of the SASC⫺R support the psychometric integrity of this subscale in terms of internal consistency, discriminant and concordant validity, and test–retest reliability (La Greca, 1998). Cronbach’s alpha computed on the current data was .65. General intellectual ability. Although general intellectual ability is not strongly implicated as a major influence on friendships in early adolescence, there is an association between mental retardation and peer social relationships (Bebko et al., 1998) and between lower IQ scores and behavior problems (Leech, Day, Richardson, & Goldschmidt, 2003). The Block Design and Vocabulary subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Revised (WISC–R; Wechsler, 1974) were administered to ensure that all participants were functioning above the mentally retarded range and that groups of adolescents examined in analyses did not differ on general intellectual ability. We averaged adolescents’ scaled scores on the two subtests for use in analyses. Family Characteristics Maternal closeness, number of siblings, and father presence in the home were measured at Time 1, and parent friendship facilitation was measured at Time 2. Number of siblings and father presence. The number of siblings of each participant and whether the father (or father figure such as stepfather) lived in the home was reported by the mother. Because the distribution of the number of siblings was highly skewed (i.e., most participants with siblings had one or two siblings), a dichotomous indicator of whether the teen had any siblings was used in the analyses. Maternal closeness. Adolescents responded to 21 questions from the Network of Relationships Inventory (Furman & Buhrmester, 1985) to assess their perceptions of social provisions available in their relationships with their mothers, including companionship, esteem support, intimacy, affection, reliable alliance, sense of inclusion, and instrumental support. Responses were on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (little or none) to 5 (the most). Internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s ␣ ⫽ .93), and the 21 items were averaged for a total maternal closeness score. Parent friendship facilitation. Parents’ efforts to promote adolescents’ friendships were assessed using the parent version of the Friendship Facilitation Questionnaire ( Vernberg et al., 1993). Mothers indicated how often they or their spouse used each of 20 friendship-promoting behaviors on a scale from 1 (never) to 5 (very often) in the past 3 months. Because the two subscales representing active (Met Other Parents, Enabled Proximity), rather than passive (Talked to Adolescent, Encouraged Activity), strategies appear most predictive of friendship qualities (Vernberg et al., 1993), we combined these first two subscales into a single variable to represent Parent Friendship Facilitation. These subscales of the Friendship Facilitation Questionnaire have been found to have acceptable parent⫺adolescent interrater reliability, internal consistency, and test– retest reliability (Vernberg et al., 1993). Cronbach’s alphas computed for the current data indicated acceptable internal consistency for the Met Other Parents (␣ ⫽ .73), Enabled Proximity (␣ ⫽ .83) subscales, which were moderately correlated with one another (r ⫽ .53, p ⬍ .001). Negative life events. Stressful life events were assessed using the Junior High Life Experiences Survey (Swearingen & Cohen, 1985). For this measure, adolescents indicated which of 39 listed life changes occurred in the past 6 months. As recommended by other researchers (e.g., DuBois, Felner, Brand, Adan, & Evans, 1992; Dubow, Tisak, Causey, Hryshko, & Reid, 1991), only events that were judged to be outside the adolescent’s control were used. In addition, the two positive events on the scale were deleted, resulting in a 23-item scale. As in other studies, a count of the total number of events that the adolescent endorsed was used in the analyses (DuBois et al., 1992; Dubow et al., 1991). Context of relocation. Parents provided information about previous moves (i.e., when move occurred, origin and destination of each move). For the current analyses, we used the number of relocations in the past 3 years. Parents also responded to four questions (written for this study) regarding satisfaction with the family’s current living situation using a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 ⫽ very dissatisfied, 5 ⫽ very satisfied). The stem for all questions was “At this point in time, how satisfied are you with your current” and was followed by queries about four aspects of the community (neighborhood, housing, personal safety, quality of schools). Internal consistency for this scale was adequate (Cronbach’s ␣ ⫽ .70) and responses to the four items were averaged for use in analyses. Friendship Characteristics Reports of intimacy and companionship in close friendships from the previous school year (i.e., premove friendships for relocated adolescents) were obtained at Time 1, and information about current friendships (i.e., postmove friendships for relocated adolescents) was collected at Time 2 and Time 3 using a structured interview developed by Berndt and Perry (1986). In this interview, the adolescents identified their three closest friends and then answered questions pertaining to how frequently specific behaviors representing each construct occurred with each friend (e.g., visiting each other’s home, talking about private matters). All items were answered with 5-point response options, with higher scores indicating higher levels of each friendship quality. Average scores for the set of questions in each domain (6 for the companionship domain and 4 for the intimacy domain) across the three friends were used in the analyses. Previous analyses found moderate to high stability over a 6-month interval and adequate internal consistency for these scales (Vernberg et al., 1992). Internal consistency calculated on the current data at each time point was good, with Cronbach’s alphas ranging from .85 to .89 for the companionship scale and from .89 to .93 for the intimacy scale. Companionship and intimacy scores were moderately correlated at Time 1 (r ⫽ .51, p ⬍ .0001), Time 2, (r ⫽ .54, p ⬍ .0001), and Time 3, (r ⫽ .49, p ⬍ .0001). Results Data Analysis Strategy The first phase of data analysis involved the identification of groups of individuals who showed similar patterns on measures of competence and problem behaviors at the time of the first assessment. The second phase involved calculating descriptive statistics and measures of association for all predictor variables. The third stage was designed to examine patterns of peer relationships over time for relocated and stable adolescents in these different groups and to determine the extent to which patterns of change are modified by family factors such as parent behaviors and contextual factors such as the presence of other stressors. Contextual Characteristics Identifying Adolescent Profiles Information regarding recent stressors and contextual factors surrounding relocation was gathered at Time 1. A primary goal of the first phase of the analyses was to group adolescents on the basis of their competence and problem behav- This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. INTERCOMMUNITY RELOCATION AND FRIENDSHIPS iors at Time 1. We used Ward’s minimum variance clustering method to identify groups of adolescents with distinct patterns of values on IQ, self reports of social anxiety and social acceptance, and parent reports of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Q-correlations and pseudo F statistics indicated that a three-cluster solution was optimal; this solution maximized between-cluster differences while minimizing within-cluster differences. Mean scores for each cluster on the five adolescent characteristics are shown in Table 1. Adolescents in Cluster 1 (n ⫽ 118) appear to be confident and at ease in social situations, as indicated by higher scores on the Social Acceptance measure and low scores on SAD-G. Moreover, these adolescents were reported by their mothers to display few internalizing or externalizing behavior problems on the CBCL. We characterized adolescents in Cluster 1 as well adjusted. In contrast, adolescents in Cluster 2 (n ⫽ 117) perceived themselves to have relatively low social acceptance and relatively high levels of social anxiety. Parents of adolescents in this cluster indicated few disruptive problem behaviors, but did note more problems with internalizing symptoms relative to the well adjusted group. We labeled this second group socially anxious. Adolescents in the third group (n ⫽ 40) reported levels of social anxiety and social acceptance near the overall sample mean. However, their mothers reported relatively high levels of internalizing symptoms and externalizing behavior problems, and we labeled this group behavioral concerns. Although IQ was used as one of the clustering variables, the three groups did not differ significantly in terms of intelligence as measured by the Block Design and Vocabulary subtests of the WISC–R. Descriptive Analyses The second analysis phase was designed to examine associations between relocation status, adolescent-level variables, familylevel predictors, and contextual level predictors. Comparisons of relocated and stable adolescents indicated that they were similar on all variables of interest, except that compared with parents of stable teens, parents of relocated teens reported more previous moves (MRelocated ⫽ 0.49, MStable ⫽ 0.12), F(1, 273) ⫽ 16.69, p ⬍ .0001, and fewer efforts to facilitate their adolescent’s friendships (MRelocated ⫽ 2.71, MStable ⫽ 3.34), F(1, 273) ⫽ 28.43, p ⬍ .0001. The proportion of relocated adolescents was somewhat higher in Table 1 Mean Scores (and Standard Deviations) on Adolescent Variables, as a Function of Cluster Cluster 1 2 3 Well adjusted Socially anxious Behavioral concerns Variable M SD M SD M SD IQ Perceived social acceptance Social avoidance/distress Internalizing symptoms Externalizing symptoms 10.70 3.27 1.40 44.60 45.00 2.20 0.40 0.40 8.10 7.90 10.60 2.40 2.50 55.60 51.10 3.00 0.50 0.70 9.00 8.20 10.20 3.02 1.70 63.90 63.30 2.60 0.51 0.40 10.00 6.00 515 the socially anxious cluster (83%) than in the well adjusted (70%) and behavioral concerns groups (68%), ␹2(2) ⫽ 6.5, p ⫽ .04. Girls also were slightly overrepresented in the well adjusted cluster (58%) relative to the socially anxious and behavioral concerns clusters (44% and 38%, respectively), ␹2(2) ⫽ 7.0, p ⫽ .03. There was substantial similarity in family and contextual characteristics across clusters, with a few exceptions. The parents of socially anxious adolescents reported engaging in fewer efforts to promote their teens’ friendships than parents of the other two groups of adolescents, F(2, 272) ⫽ 9.42, p ⬍ .0001. Friendship Facilitation Questionnaire scores were somewhat lower for the socially anxious cluster (M ⫽ 2.61) than for the well adjusted (M ⫽ 3.50) and behavioral concerns (M ⫽ 3.09) clusters, Fs (1, 272) ⱖ 9.37, ps ⱕ .002. Parents of teens in the behavioral concerns group reported fewer moves in the past 3 years (M ⫽ 0.13) than parents of teens in the well adjusted (M ⫽ 0.42) and socially anxious (M ⫽ 0.47) groups, Fs (1, 272) ⱖ 5.79, ps ⱕ .0017. Measures of association and descriptive statistics for all other predictors are displayed in Table 2, and these data reveal a few moderate associations between the variables. For instance, girls reported greater closeness with their mothers (M ⫽ 3.78) than boys (M ⫽ 3.19), and adolescents with a father living in the home were more likely to have siblings (90%) than those with no father in the home (80%). Overall, however, the measures of association do not reveal any major redundancies among the predictor variables. Predicting Longitudinal Friendship Patterns To provide an initial look at the impact of relocation on friendship characteristics among the different groups of adolescents, mean companionship and intimacy scores for the relocated and stable adolescents at each time point are presented in Table 3, both within cluster and collapsed across clusters. Within the stable and relocated categories, companionship and intimacy scores appeared to be lower across time for the socially anxious and behavioral concerns groups than for the well adjusted group. Examination of the patterns of means from Time 1 to Time 3 collapsed across clusters suggests that the stable adolescents’ friendship patterns were more stable over time than those of the relocated adolescents. The degree of stability, however, appeared to vary by cluster, such that the socially anxious group showed a greater drop than the other groups in companionship scores following relocation at Time 2, and the socially anxious and behavioral concerns groups showed a greater drop in intimacy following relocation than the well adjusted group. These group differences in friendship patterns were explored further through inferential analyses. Specifically, repeated measures general linear mixed-model analyses (e.g., NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1999) were used to examine the effect of relocation on adolescents’ friendships over time and to assess the extent to which patterns of change over time were modified by adolescent-level, family-level, and contextual level factors. A separate intercept was specified for each subject as a random variable. This analysis strategy, carried out using Proc Mixed in SAS, permitted us to include the 21 participants who were missing data at the third assessment. We fit separate models for each of the two measures of friendship (intimacy and companionship), using Time (1, 2, or 3) as the repeated measure or within-subject variable. Planned contrasts that separately analyzed VERNBERG, GREENHOOT, AND BIGGS 516 Table 2 Descriptive Statistics and Measures of Association for Family and Contextual Variables This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Variable Variable or statistic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1. Sex (female ⫽1) 2. Closeness with mother 3. Father in home 4. Any siblings 5. Friendship facilitation 6. N moves prior 3 years 7. N recent stressful events 8. Satisfaction with community Mean (SD) Percentage (n) — t ⫽ ⫺5.07*** ␹2 ⫽ 0.70 ␹2 ⫽ 0.28 t ⫽ ⫺1.25 t ⫽ 0.70 t ⫽ 0.95 t ⫽ 0.24 — 49% (134) — t ⫽ 1.26 t ⫽ ⫺0.81 r ⫽ .09 r ⫽ ⫺.10 r ⫽ ⫺.12* r ⫽ .07 3.48 (1.01) — — ␹2 ⫽ 4.16* t ⫽ 0.59 t ⫽ 1.45 t ⫽ 1.38 t ⫽ ⫺1.16 — 82% (225) — t ⫽ 0.08 t ⫽ 0.94 t ⫽ 0.46 t ⫽ 0.42 — 88% (243) — r ⫽ ⫺.13* r ⫽ .04 r ⫽ .05 2.87 (0.88) — — r ⫽ .05 r ⫽ ⫺.22*** 0.40 (0.67) — — r ⫽ ⫺.10 2.40 (2.17) — * p ⬍ .05. 8 3.49 (.75) *** p ⬍ .0001. change from Time 1 to Time 2 and change from Time 2 to Time 3 were used to examine possible “nonlinear” patterns of change across the three time points. For instance, we expected the friendship scores of relocated adolescents to drop from Time 1 to Time 2 (i.e., in the period shortly after relocation) and remain stable or increase from Time 2 to Time 3 (i.e., several months after relocation), whereas we expected stable adolescents’ scores to be relatively consistent across both intervals. To assess the predictive values of individual-level factors over and above relocation status and the additional contributions of family and contextual factors, we fit the model for each friendship measure hierarchically, adding relocation, adolescent, family, and contextual variables in blocks. The initial models examined the effect of relocation status on friendship patterns over time by fitting separate regression models for the relocated and stable groups (i.e., testing the interaction between mobility status and time). In Step 2 we added the adolescent-level variables of gender and cluster to determine whether male and female adolescents and teens with different profiles of competence and problem behaviors varied in their friendship patterns. Two- and three-way interactions between gender, relocation status and time and cluster, relocation status and time were also tested because we were especially interested in whether the individual-level variables moderated the teens’ social adaptation following relocation. In the third step, the family-level variables of mother⫺child closeness, presence of siblings, parent friendship facilitation, and father’s presence in the home were added to the models. To determine whether family variables might be especially protective following a move or for less well-adjusted teens, we also tested two- and three-way interactions among each family variable, relocation status, and time and between each family variable, cluster, and time. Finally, in the fourth step the block of contextual factors—number of stressful events, number of other moves in the past 3 years, and satisfaction with the current community—was added, including interactions of these variables with relocation status and time. To enhance interpretation of lower order effects, nonsignificant interactions were removed from the final models. All continuous predictors were standardized to have a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1 for these analyses because they were collected on an interval scale, and thus the scaling was not inherently meaningful. Because these variables were standardized, the corresponding parameter estimates can be interpreted in terms of the relative mag- Table 3 Companionship and Intimacy in Close Friendships for Relocating and Residentially Stable Adolescents Companionship Friendship quality/relocation status Cluster 1: well adjusted Stable (n ⫽ 35) Relocated (n ⫽ 83) Cluster 2: socially anxious Stable (n ⫽ 20) Relocated (n ⫽ 97) Cluster 3: behavioral concerns Stable (n ⫽ 13) Relocated (n ⫽ 27) Across clusters Stable (n ⫽ 68) Relocated (n ⫽ 207) Note. T ⫽ time. Intimacy T1 T2 T3 T1 T2 T3 3.29 3.45 3.38 2.97 3.36 3.19 3.53 3.46 3.76 3.54 3.89 3.72 3.16 3.36 3.18 2.56 3.03 2.95 3.28 3.27 3.52 2.95 3.53 3.49 3.08 3.66 2.81 2.91 3.00 3.35 3.34 3.27 3.48 2.96 3.75 3.62 3.21 3.44 3.21 2.77 3.19 3.11 3.42 3.34 3.63 3.19 3.75 3.60 nitude of their value in predicting the dependent variables. The results of the analyses of companionship and intimacy are summarized in Tables 4 and 5, respectively. For each analysis, we present two types of statistics to provide information about the predictive values of the four blocks of variables. First, to provide information about the amount of variance explained in each step of the model, approximate R2 values were calculated as the squared correlation between the predicted values under the fixed effects portion of a particular model and the actual observed values (Burchinal, Campbell, Bryant, Wasik, & Ramey, 1997). Thus, the change in approximate R2 for each block represents the increase in explained variance that resulted from the addition of that block to the model, tested in order of addition to the model (i.e., with only blocks added in previous steps included in the model). In addition, the F values for each block represent the joint contribution of all variables in that block to the final model, tested in a simultaneous regression (i.e., with all other blocks included in the model). Predicting companionship. Table 4 presents the results of the model predicting companionship, organized by block. F values calculated at the block level are presented in bold. Examination of the change in approximate R2 associated with the addition of each variable block, as well as the F values corresponding to each block, suggests that relocation status, adolescent-level variables, and family level variables contributed significantly to the prediction of companionship scores over time, whereas the contextual variables contributed little. The significant main effect of time and the interaction between relocation status and time, indicate that companionship changed significantly across the three time points, but that these changes varied as a function of relocation status. Additional tests indicated that relocation status moderated change Table 4 Results of Repeated Measures General Linear Mixed-Model Predicting Patterns Of Companionship From Relocation, Child, Family, and Contextual Factors Predictor F ⌬R2 Time Relocation block Relocation Status (relocated ⫽ 1) Relocation ⫻ Time Relocation ⫻ Time 1–Time 2 Relocation ⫻ Time 2–Time 3 Adolescent characteristics block Sex (female ⫽ 1) Cluster Cluster ⫻ Time Cluster ⫻ Time 1–Time 2 Cluster ⫻ Time 2–Time 3 Family characteristics block Any siblings Father in home Closeness with mother Friendship facilitation Contextual characteristics block N moves prior 3 years N recent stressful events Satisfaction with community 17.60*** 10.71*** 0.14 15.38*** 29.43*** 11.89** 2.06* 1.99 2.16 2.29† 3.80* 1.82 6.05*** 0.90 0.02 1.33 20.83*** 1.25 2.98 0.14 0.49 — .05 517 Table 5 Results of Repeated Measures General Linear Mixed-Model Predicting Patterns of Intimacy From Relocation, Adolescent, Family, and Contextual Factors Predictor F ⌬R2 Time Relocation block Relocation status (relocated ⫽ 1) Relocation ⫻ Time Relocation ⫻ Time 1–Time 2 Relocation ⫻ Time 2–Time 3 Adolescent characteristics block Sex (female ⫽ 1) Cluster Sex ⫻ Time Sex ⫻ Time 1–Time 2 Sex ⫻ Time 2–Time 3 Cluster ⫻ Time Cluster ⫻ Time 1–Time 2 Cluster ⫻ Time 2–Time 3 Family characteristics block Any siblings Father in home Closeness with mother Friendship facilitation Contextual characteristics block N moves prior 3 years N recent stressful events Satisfaction with community 19.31*** 2.42† 0.39 3.49* 6.12* 4.63* 8.54*** 52.57*** 1.28 4.61* 8.61** 0.95 2.44* 2.68 4.04* 6.23*** 1.35 0.00 4.12* 17.57*** 1.28 0.11 2.21 1.01 — .04 .25 .06 .00 Note. Bold type indicates that values were calculated at the block level. R2 for time only model ⫽ .26. † p ⫽ .06. * p ⬍ .05. ** p ⬍ .001. *** p ⬍ .0001. patterns both from Time 1 to Time 2 and from Time 2 to Time 3. To illustrate the nature of these effects, parameter estimates generated by the final model were used to plot predicted companionship trajectories across the three time points for Relocated and Stable adolescents, averaged across the other predictors. As suggested by the plot in Figure 1, Relocated adolescents showed a significant decrease in companionship scores following relocation Stable Relocated 4 .05 .07 Predicted Companionship Score This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. INTERCOMMUNITY RELOCATION AND FRIENDSHIPS 3.5 3 .01 Note. Bold type indicates that values were calculated at the block level. R2 for time-only model ⫽ .26. † p ⫽ .06. * p ⬍ .05. ** p ⬍ .001. *** p ⬍ .0001. 2.5 Time 1: End of Prior School Year Time 2: November Time 3: April Figure 1. Companionship by relocation status. Friendship qualities were adjusted for family and contextual factors reported in Tables 4 and 5. VERNBERG, GREENHOOT, AND BIGGS (i.e., Time 1 to Time 2), F(1, 263) ⫽ 113.20, p ⬍ .0001, and a significant increase in scores from Time 2 to Time 3, F(1, 263) ⫽ 41.90, p ⬍ .0001, whereas the stable adolescents showed no significant change across either interval. Shortly following relocation (i.e., at Time 2), relocated adolescents reported significantly lower companionship scores than stable adolescents, F(1, 263) ⫽ 7.00, p ⬍ .01. Of interest, relocated teens actually reported higher companionship scores prior to relocation (i.e., at Time 1) than stable teens, F(1, 263) ⫽ 11.5, p ⬍ .001. By Time 3, however, there were no differences between the two groups. Patterns of change over time also varied as a function of adolescent competence/behavior problem profiles, as indicated by the marginally significant interaction between cluster and time and the significant interaction between cluster and change from Time 1 to Time 2 (see Table 3). Teens in the socially anxious and behavioral concerns clusters showed significantly greater decreases in companionship scores from Time 1 to Time 2 than teens in the well adjusted cluster, Fs(1, 263) ⱖ 3.86, ps ⱕ .05. Tests of cluster differences at each time point indicated that the three groups of teens did not differ at Time 1, but that at Time 2 the socially anxious group reported lower companionship scores than the well adjusted group, F(1, 263) ⫽ 7.71, p ⬍ .01; the behavioral concerns group did not significantly differ from either of the other clusters at Time 2. At Time 3, the socially anxious group again reported lower companionship than the well adjusted group, although this difference was only marginally significant, F(1, 263) ⫽ 3.38, p ⫽ .067. The three-way interaction between cluster, time, and relocation status was not significant; thus, the effects of relocation on companionship did not differ for teens with different profiles of competence and behavior problems. To illustrate the joint impact of competence/behavior problem profiles and relocation status on adolescents’ companionship trajectories, Figure 2 presents the predicted companionship scores at Times 1, 2, and 3 as a function of both relocation status and cluster. As can be seen, relocation was associated with a temporary drop in companionship scores at Time 2. Within the relocated and stable groups, teens in the well adjusted cluster fared better than those in the other two clusters, especially at Time 2. Well-Adjusted/Stable Socially Anxious/Stable Behavioral Concerns/Stable Predicted Companionship Score This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 518 Well-Adjusted/Relocated Socially Anxious/Relocated Behavioral Concerns/Relocated 4 3.5 3 2.5 Time 1: End of Prior School Year Time 2: November Time 3: April Figure 2. Companionship by relocation status and cluster. Friendship qualities were adjusted for family and contextual factors reported in Tables 4 and 5. Finally, companionship trajectories were also related to familylevel variables over and above relocation status and adolescent level variables. Within the family-level block, however, only the parent friendship facilitation variable was a significant predictor of companionship scores, and this variable did not interact with either relocation status or cluster. Thus, across all groups of adolescents, those whose parents made more efforts to promote their children’s friendships reported higher companionship scores across time than those whose parents made fewer such efforts (B ⫽ 0.17). Predicting intimacy. The results of the model predicting changes in intimacy across time are summarized in Table 5, with the block-level F values presented in bold. These results suggest that, as in the analyses of companionship, contextual characteristics did not contribute to the prediction of intimacy with relocation, adolescent characteristics, and family variables in the model. Although the overall test of the relocation block just failed to reach conventional standards of statistical significance, the interactions between time and relocation status were significant, indicating that stable and relocated adolescents showed different patterns of change over time, both from Time 1 to Time 2 and from Time 2 to Time 3. As suggested by the plot of predicted intimacy scores in Figure 3, relocated adolescents reported a significant drop in intimacy in the period shortly after the move (Time 1 to Time 2), F(1, 263) ⫽ 5.19, p ⬍ .02, and an increase in intimacy several months after the move (Time 2 to Time 3), F(1, 263) ⫽ 47.86, p ⬍ .0001, whereas nonrelocated adolescents’ intimacy scores did not change significantly across either time period. Thus, relocated adolescents showed a temporary drop in intimacy at Time 2, whereas stable adolescents did not. Nevertheless, the difference between stable and relocated adolescents’ intimacy scores at Time 2 was only marginally significant, F(1, 263) ⫽ 3.80, p ⬍ .052. In contrast to the relocation block, the addition of the adolescent-level block led to a large increase in the approximate R2, suggesting that a substantial proportion of variance in friendship intimacy can be explained by individual adolescent characteristics. To illustrate the impact of adolescent-level variables as well as relocation on patterns of friendship intimacy over time, predicted intimacy trajectories are plotted as a function of cluster and relocation status in Figures 4a (for boys) and 4b (for girls). There was a large main effect of gender on intimacy, such that girls reported higher levels of intimacy across all three time points than boys (Bfemale ⫽ 0.67), and this effect is apparent in a comparison of the mean levels of the intimacy trajectories displayed in Figures 4a and 4b. Gender also interacted with Time, such that boys and girls showed different patterns of change from Time 1 to Time 2 (see Table 5); across all groups, boys tended to show decreases in intimacy during this interval, whereas girls tended to show increases, although both of these changes were only marginally significant. Both boys and girls showed significant increases in intimacy from Time 2 to Time 3, Fs(1, 263) ⱖ 11.26, ps ⱕ .001. Intimacy trajectories were also modified by competence/behavior problem cluster; specifically, the three groups of adolescents showed different patterns of change from Time 2 to Time 3. Follow-up tests indicated that across gender and relocation status, adolescents in the socially anxious and behavioral concerns clusters reported increases in friendship intimacy from Time 2 to Time 3, Fs(1, 263) ⱖ 14.50, ps ⱕ .001. In contrast, teens in the well adjusted cluster did not report significant change in intimacy across this time period, most likely because the intimacy scores of INTERCOMMUNITY RELOCATION AND FRIENDSHIPS Relocated 3.5 3 2.5 Time 1: End of Prior School Year Time 2: November Time 3: April Figure 3. Intimacy by relocation status. Friendship qualities were adjusted for family and contextual factors reported in Tables 4 and 5. well adjusted teens were significantly higher than those of the other two groups at Time 2, Fs(1, 263) ⱖ 4.17, ps ⱕ .05. Taken together, these patterns suggest that although relocated adolescents across groups showed a drop in intimacy shortly following the move, the effects of relocation on friendship intimacy are quite minimal when considered along with adolescent characteristics, particularly gender. Indeed, as illustrated in Figures 4a and 4b, neither relocation status nor cluster is associated with differences in intimacy at the final assessment. Finally, family characteristics also contributed to the prediction of friendship intimacy over and above relocation status and adolescent characteristics. As in the analyses of companionship, parent friendship facilitation was positively associated with intimacy scores across time (B ⫽ 0.19). In addition, higher levels of maternal closeness were associated with greater intimacy scores (B ⫽ 0.09). a Well-Adjusted/Stable Socially Anxious/Stable Behavioral Concerns/Stable 4 3.5 3 2.5 Time 1: End of Prior School Year Discussion The results provide strong evidence that relocation to a new community in early adolescence produces a period of diminished access to companionship and intimacy with close friends. However, most relocating adolescents were similar to residentially stable peers in these friendship qualities by the end of the school year, suggesting that these move-induced differences in the trajectory of friendship qualities are relatively short-lived in most instances. Nonetheless, the impact of relocation on friendship qualities, although time limited, is striking. In light of the nonsignificant interaction among cluster, relocation status, and time in predicting companionship and intimacy, the link between adjustment and friendship quality appears to be similar for relocated and residentially stable adolescents. Thus, the effects of adjustment difficulties and relocation on friendship status appear to be additive, such that a combination of relocation to a new community along with behavior problems or selfperceived social difficulties leads to greater decrements in friendship quality than either factor alone. Comparison of residentially stable and relocating adolescents within each of the three personal Well-Adjusted/Relocated Socially Anxious/Relocated Behavioral Concerns/Relocated 4.5 b Well-Adjusted/Stable Socially Anxious/Stable Behavioral Concerns/Stable Time 2: November Time 3: May Well-Adjusted/Relocated Socially Anxious/Relocated Behavioral Concerns/Relocated 4.5 Predicted Intimacy Score This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Predicted Intimacy Score 4 characteristic clusters illustrates how individual characteristics may influence the duration and intensity of these effects. Adolescents in the well adjusted cluster reported declines in companionship after moving, but the intimacy in the friendships they had established by the end of the third month of school was slightly higher than what they reported for their premove friendships. In contrast, relocating adolescents in the socially anxious and behavioral concerns clusters showed notable decrements in both intimacy and companionship in their newly formed friendships in the third month of school compared with premove friendships. Results indicated that patterns of friendship intimacy, but not companionship, differed by gender. As expected, girls reported greater friendship intimacy than did boys. Also compared with boys, the level of intimacy in girls’ friendships tended to increase over time, especially at the beginning of the school year. This may reflect a normative trend for intimacy in close friendships to become particularly valued and salient for girls as they progress through early adolescence (Buhrmester & Furman, 1987). By implication, a lack of intimacy in newly formed friendships or the loss of intimacy offered in premove friendships could be especially difficult for girls. Predicted Intimacy Score Stable 519 4 3.5 3 2.5 Time 1: End of Prior School Year Time 2: November Time 3: April Figure 4. a: Boys’ intimacy by relocation status and cluster. b: Girls’ intimacy by relocation status and cluster. Friendship qualities were adjusted for family and contextual factors reported in Tables 4 and 5. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 520 VERNBERG, GREENHOOT, AND BIGGS Investigation of family characteristics further clarified which adolescents’ social lives might fare better than others following relocation. Of the family characteristics measured, active parental efforts to facilitate friendship formation appear to influence both companionship and intimacy trajectories for adolescents who relocate, and perceived closeness in the mother⫺adolescent relationship also is related to intimacy in friendships. Consistent with previous research (Vernberg et al., 1993), these findings indicate that parents can help adolescents make friends in a new community and extend previous research by demonstrating that parental contributions to friendship formation following relocation go above and beyond the degree to which adolescents’ personal characteristics affect their ability to make friends. Although parents’ efforts to help their adolescent children make friends appear to influence positively the amount of time adolescents spend with friends and the degree of intimacy adolescents experience with their friends, the amount of closeness with one’s mother contributed to only the degree of friendship intimacy. This is consistent with prior research indicating a connection between close mother⫺adolescent relationships and intimacy in friendships but not with popularity or the presence of a reciprocated friendship (Lieberman et al., 1999). It could be that a close relationship with one’s mother provides a model for developing close, intimate relationships, whereas more active efforts to promote friendships primarily increases time spent with friends. Conversely, adolescents who perceive distance or conflict in the mother⫺adolescent relationship may not have the requisite knowledge and experience to form intimate friendships successfully. It is interesting that neither the presence of the adolescents’ father in the home nor the number of siblings in the home contributed to companionship or intimacy trajectories. Relatively few adolescents lived in single-parent homes, and most had siblings; thus, low variability on these factors may have contributed to these null findings. Similarly, contextual characteristics pertaining to concurrent stressful life events, prior moves, and parental satisfaction with their community of residence were not related to friendship trajectories, over and above the effects of personal characteristics and family factors. Benefits of the Person-Centered Approach By clustering adolescents into groups with similar behavioral and emotional adjustment characteristics, we were able to gain a richer picture of relocation’s effect on the quality of adolescents’ friendships. Rather than examining the independent effects of behavioral problems, self-perceptions of social competence, and social anxiety on friendship patterns over time, cluster analysis created meaningful groups of adolescents so that friendship trajectories following relocation could be viewed in light of specific types of adolescents. From this vantage point, we were able to examine the additional effects of gender, family characteristics, and contextual factors on friendship quality and relate them back to relocation status and the individual characteristics of the adolescents. The person-centered approach was enhanced by the use of a longitudinal design that permitted us to examine individual change over time (Willett, Singer, & Marin, 1998). As seen in this study, cluster analysis combined with the repeated measures approach provided a greater understanding of the multiple factors that con- tribute to friendship quality (equifinality) and also helped identify factors that may determine which adolescents are likely to struggle in their friendships following relocation and which are likely to fare better in their new community (multifinality; see Cicchetti & Rogosch, 1996). Further, the longitudinal design used in this study facilitated examination of developmental patterns which would have been obscured by cross-sectional or two-time-point repeated measures analyses. Specifically, had we measured friendship quality only at Time 2 or only at Time 1 and Time 2, we would not have seen that the dip in friendship quality observed among relocated adolescents was temporary. One additional strength of this study was the use of multiple informants. The unique contribution of both adolescent- and parent-reported factors in predicting adolescent-reported companionship and intimacy in close friendships provide further evidence that this study has captured meaningful relations between adolescent friendship qualities and adolescent characteristics, family factors, and context surrounding relocation to a new community. Caveats and Future Directions One limitation was the reliance on self-report data for friendship quality. Without reports from others, we cannot be sure that friendships reported by the adolescents were reciprocated. In a similar vein, practical limitations connected with studying relocation prevented prospective measurement of premove friendships. In particular, one unexpected finding was that Relocated adolescents reported higher companionship scores at Time 1 than did residentially stable adolescents. The reasons for this difference are not completely clear. One explanation suggested by research on memory and retrospective reporting (e.g., Ross, 1989; Wilson & Ross, 2003) is that relocated teens’ current perspectives biased their reports of premove companionship levels; specifically, relocated teens might have exaggerated their premove companionship levels in memory in part because they viewed their postmove companionship levels as far lower than what they had experienced prior to relocation. Future studies that include friends’ reports of friendship quality, sociometrics to measure peer acceptance, or behavioral observations would extend the findings from the current study by providing another perspective of adolescents’ social functioning following relocation. One question left unanswered by this study is what effects, if any, does a loss in friendship quality, albeit temporary, have on adolescents’ well-being? Do adolescents experience greater loneliness or social anxiety while they establish new friendships and, if so, how long do those feelings typically last? Relatedly, how does the process of making friends in a new community affect adolescents’ sense of social competence? For some the experience might be a trying one, leaving adolescents with doubts about themselves and how they fit in, whereas others may come away with an enhanced sense of social competence because they successfully navigate their new social network. The factors contributing to adolescents’ friendship trajectories identified in the current study are likely important determinants of how adolescents will adjust emotionally following a move to a new community. Identifying how adolescents cope with the social challenges they must face following relocation, such as the typical dip in friendship quality, is also important for understanding how adolescents fare emotionally with a move to a new community. Future studies investigating INTERCOMMUNITY RELOCATION AND FRIENDSHIPS This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. adolescents’ perceptions of their premove and postmove experiences would shed light on these issues. For example, adolescents’ perceptions of their old and new communities could determine whether they view the relocation as a loss or an opportunity. In addition, the interpretations adolescents make about the changes in their social lives following relocation could be important for their self-perceptions and, subsequently, their postmove adjustment. Viewing the reduction in social activities and connectedness as reflecting a deficit in themselves could lead to a more negative self-image and greater emotional difficulty. In contrast, seeing these changes in their social lives as an expected but temporary part of relocation could leave an adolescent feeling more neutral or hopeful about their social prospects in the new community. Practical Implications Results highlight a number of factors that parents could consider when faced with the possibility of relocation. First, parents and their adolescents can anticipate that adolescents will experience an initial dip in the quality of their friendships following relocation. That is, they may initially spend less time with and be less close to and their new friends than they did with their friends in their previous location. However, parents and adolescents can take some comfort in knowing that decreases in friendship quality are typically short-lived and, by the end of the school year, they will likely establish friendships of similar quality to those they had previously. Understanding this typical process might prevent adolescents and their parents from becoming overly discouraged if the quality of new friendships is not initially what they hoped it to be. Second, the degree to which adolescents present with behavioral and emotional concerns or perceive themselves to be socially anxious and awkward is another important consideration. Because these adolescents tend to struggle most with friendships, parents might want to consider accessing additional supports for their adolescent to help them adjust to the new community, possibly including counseling or psychoeducation on the typical challenges posed by relocation and strategies for negotiating these successfully. Current findings indicate that parents can promote companionship, or the amount of time spent with friends, through active efforts to facilitate contact with peers. This includes proximityenabling activities such as providing transportation to events and activities, hosting outings or activities that could include a prospective friend, and making efforts to meet parents of adolescents in the new community. In addition, parents, at least mothers, can promote greater intimacy in adolescents’ friendships by being available physically and emotionally to their adolescent children and by modeling behaviors conducive to trust. Although developmentally appropriate efforts toward greater autonomy must be respected and supported (Steinberg & Morris, 2001), parental affection, companionship, and emotional closeness appear to serve important functions in the overall social and psychological adjustment of adolescents in this study. Our results suggest that socially anxious adolescents may be particularly vulnerable in facing the challenges of establishing close friendships following relocation. Clinicians working with these adolescents may find empirically supported treatments for social phobia informative. These treatments generally are based on cognitive– behavioral principles, teach skills to promote social 521 effectiveness, address adolescents’ social doubts and worries, and provide practice in initiating and maintaining social interactions. Some of the treatments are individual or group based (Beidel & Roberson-Nay, 2005; Spence, Donovan, & Brechman-Toussaint, 2000), whereas others are school based (Fisher, Masia-Warner, & Klein, 2004). Given our finding of the importance of parent friendship facilitation and evidence that parent involvement might increase the effectiveness of social anxiety treatment (Spence et al., 2000), clinicians should strongly consider including parents in their efforts to support adolescents following relocation, perhaps in an intervention similar to Frankel and Myatt’s (2003) friendship program but adapted for adolescents. Empirical investigation of these approaches with relocated youth who are and are not socially anxious would shed light on their appropriateness for addressing the social challenges specific to relocation. Future studies investigating adolescents’ perceptions of the relocation experience in greater depth might provide further information about the types of support that could be helpful to relocating adolescents. For example, adolescents who view the move as a loss of valuable friendships may need time and support to grieve that loss. For some, opportunities to stay connected with old friends via Internet, telephone, or visits may be beneficial. For those whose self-perceptions are negatively affected by the experience, the cognitive– behavioral approaches discussed above could be beneficial. 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This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. INTERCOMMUNITY RELOCATION AND FRIENDSHIPS Thelen, E., & Smith, L. B. (1998). Dynamic systems theories. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & R. Lerner (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (pp. 631– 678). New York: Wiley. Van Tilburg, M. A. L., Vingerhoets, A. J. J. M., & Van Heck, C. L. (1999). Determinants of homesickness chronicity: Coping and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 531–539. Vernberg, E. M. (1990a). Experiences with peers following relocation during early adolescence. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 60, 466 – 472. Vernberg, E. M. (1990b). Psychological adjustment and experiences with peers during early adolescence: Reciprocal, incidental, or unidirectional relationships? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 18, 187–198. Vernberg, E. M., Abwender, D. A., Ewell, K. K., & Beery, S. H. (1992). 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Manual for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Revised. New York: The Psychological Corporation. Willett, J. B., Singer, J. D., & Martin, N. C. (1998). The design and analysis of longitudinal studies of development and psychopathology in context: Statistical models and methodological recommendations. Development and Psychopathology, 10, 395– 426. Wilson, A. E., & Ross, M. (2003). The identity function of autobiographical memory: Time is on our side. Memory, 11, 137–149. Received June 14, 2005 Revision received October 14, 2005 Accepted November 29, 2005 䡲 Bramson, L M. et al. (2016) The association between childhood relocations and subsequent risk of suicide attempt, psychiatric problems, and low academic achievement. Psychological Medicine; Cambridge. Vol 46. Iss 5 Abstract Background Given the frequency with which families change residences, the effects of childhood relocations have gained increasing research attention. Many researchers have demonstrated that childhood relocations are associated with a variety of adverse outcomes. However, drawing strong causal claims remains problematic due to uncontrolled confounding factors. Method We utilized longitudinal, population-based Swedish registers to generate a nationally representative sample of offspring born 1983-1997 ( n = 1 510 463). Using Cox regression and logistic regression, we examined the risk for numerous adverse outcomes after childhood relocation while controlling for measured covariates. To account for unmeasured genetic and environmental confounds, we also compared differentially exposed cousins and siblings. Results In the cohort baseline model, each annual relocation was associated with risk for the adverse outcomes, including suicide attempt [hazard ratio (HR) 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19-1.20]. However, when accounting for offspring and parental covariates (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.07-1.09), as well as genetic and environmental confounds shared by cousins (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.05-1.09) and siblings (HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97-1.04), the risk for suicide attempt attenuated. We found a commensurate pattern of results for severe mental illness, substance abuse, criminal convictions, and low academic achievement. Conclusions Previous research may have overemphasized the independent association between relocations and later adverse outcomes. The results suggest that the association between childhood relocations and suicide attempt, psychiatric problems, and low academic achievement is partially explained by genetic and environmental confounds correlated with relocations. This study demonstrates the importance of using family-based, quasiexperimental designs to test plausible alternate hypotheses when examining causality. Less Full Text • • TranslateFull text (ProQuest: ... denotes formulae and/or non-US-ASCII text omitted; see image) Original Articles Introduction Due to rates in developed countries demonstrating that people change residences more frequently in childhood than in adulthood (Jelleyman & Spencer, 2008), the ramifications of childhood relocation has gained increasing research attention. A growing body of literature suggests that children who have changed residences are at higher risk for adverse outcomes, including suicidal behavior (Qin et al. 2009), psychiatric disorders (Adam, 2004; Jelleyman & Spencer, 2008), substance use (Dewit, 1998; Brown et al. 2012), criminal convictions (Gasper et al. 2010), and academic difficulties (Chen, 2013; Hutchings et al. 2013). Several hypotheses exist as to why relocation is associated with adverse outcomes. Relocation may result in the severing of social ties and a disruption in familiar surroundings (Durkheim, 1951; Wray et al. 2011), which could, for example, increase one's risk for subsequent suicidal behavior (Stack, 2000). Or, relocations may be a marker of confounding pre-existing parental psychiatric disorders, parental unemployment, disorganized family life, or low family income (Pribesh & Downey, 1999; Leventhal & BrooksGunn, 2003; Dong et al. 2005; Fomby & Cherlin, 2007; Dupere et al. 2008; Jelleyman & Spencer, 2008). Despite the frequently assumed causal relation (Haynie et al. 2006; Jelleyman & Spencer, 2008), drawing causal inferences between relocations and adverse outcomes remains problematic (Scanlon & Devine, 2001; Adam, 2004). Previous studies examining the effect of childhood relocation are limited primarily by: (1) small sample sizes that limit the statistical power and generalizability (Jelleyman & Spencer, 2008; Nock et al. 2008a ), (2) a lack of rigorous control of measured covariates (Jelleyman & Spencer, 2008), and (3) inferring a causal relation without sufficiently exploring plausible genetic and environmental confounding factors (Rutter, 2007). Given the importance of rigorously examining plausible alternative explanations when causal claims have been made (Shadish et al. 2002; Rutter, 2007), this paper aims to examine the relation between childhood relocations (i.e. before age 12 years) and a variety of adverse outcomes by including more extensive measured covariates and comparing differentially exposed cousins and siblings using data collected in population-based, longitudinal, Swedish registers. Although previous studies have highlighted the vulnerability of relocations in adolescence (Qin et al. 2009; Paksarian et al. 2015), we focused specifically on childhood relocations due to the minimal literature examining this age range. We examined the extent to which relocations are independently associated with suicide attempt, severe mental illness, substance abuse, criminal convictions, and academic achievement. We hypothesized that the population-wide risk for adverse outcomes associated with relocations would be attenuated after accounting for numerous offspring (i.e. sex, birth parity, maternal smoking during pregnancy, mothers' cohabitation at offspring birth, parental age at childbearing) and parental covariates (i.e. educational attainment, country of origin, suicide attempt, suicide, severe mental illness, substance abuse, criminal history, and ranked, average family income) and controlling for unmeasured environmental and genetic confounds shared by cousins and siblings. Method Data After approval from the Institutional Review Boards at Indiana University and the Regional Ethical Review Board in Stockholm, Sweden, we generated a dataset linking information from ten longitudinal, population-based and healthcare registers using a personal identification number assigned to all Sweden residents at birth. The registers were: (1) the Medical Birth Register, which provides detailed birth information for more than 95% of pregnancies in Sweden beginning 1 January 1973 (Swedish Centre for Epidemiology, 2003), as well as offspring antenatal and perinatal information; (2) the Multi-Generation Register, which can be used to determine biological and adoptive familial relationships for all individuals born after 1932 or have been living in Sweden since 1961 (Statistics Sweden, 2010); (3) the Statistics Sweden Regional Register (SSRS), which records an annual dichotomous change in residence beginning in 1983 (Statistics Sweden, 2013); (4) the Integrated Database for Labor Market Research (LISA), which provides longitudinal market labor information (e.g. income level, marital status, unemployment status, social welfare status, disability status, etc.) on all individuals over the age of 16 beginning in 1990 until the end of 2008, as well as an annual count of residential changes (Statistics Sweden, 2011); (5) the Cause of Death Register, which contains the date and contributing cause(s) of deaths since 1 January 1952 (Statistics Sweden, 2010); (6) the National Patient Register, which includes International Classification of Diseases Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Revisions (ICD-8, ICD-9, ICD-10) codes (Janssen & Kunst, 2004) and dates for hospital inpatient admissions since 1 January 1969 (Jacobsson, 2009); (7) the Migration Register, which records dates for immigrations to and emigrations from Sweden since 11 September 1901 (Statistics Sweden, 2010); (8) the National Crime Register, which records all criminal convictions (i.e. for both non-violent and violent offenses), the date, and the sentence since 1 January 1973 for all citizens aged [= or >, slanted]15 years (Fazel & Grann, 2006); (9) the Education Register, which includes information since 1970 on the highest level of completed formal education, divided into seven ordinal groups from fewer than 9 years of education to postgraduate education (D'Onofrio et al. 2010); and (10) the National School Register, which includes a continuous measure of academic performance aggregated across 16 subjects since 1989, and Swedish language tests since 1987 for all students graduating from 9th grade at approximately age 16 years (the Swedish National Agency for Education, 2011). Additional information about the registers can be found elsewhere (e.g. D'Onofrio et al. 2013a ). Sample The population cohort in this study included individuals who were born in Sweden between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1997. Using this time-frame enabled us to define childhood relocations in terms of residential address changes occurring before the age of 12 and follow individuals on our main outcomes through 2009. Specifically, we wanted to ensure exposure to the risk factor (i.e. childhood relocations) occurred before any measured outcome to more accurately assess the independent association between relocation and later adverse outcomes (Kraemer et al. 1997). In addition, previous research has demonstrated that the validity of suicide attempt and severe mental illness younger than age 12 is unknown (D'Onofrio et al. 2013a ). Starting with 1 594 532 observations from the Medical Birth Register, we excluded individuals sequentially starting with stillbirths (n = 3608), offspring with any congenital malformation (n = 63 790), and those with missing or invalid information for sex (n = 65). We then excluded individuals who had no relocation data in SSRS (n = 10 227), as well as one individual born after 1990 who was missing relocation data from LISA. Next, we dropped all recorded cases of suicide attempt (n = 3892) or suicide (n = 2) that occurred before the age of 12. Due to the lack of documented information on predictor and outcomes variables during time spent outside of the country, we also excluded those who migrated before age 12 but subsequently returned to Sweden and had a later recorded suicide attempt (n = 473) or suicide (n = 9). Finally, we excluded individuals for whom the maternal age at childbearing was under 9 years (n = 6), the age of death was less than 0 (n = 1), and the recorded date of suicide did not match the date of death (n = 1). In total, we excluded 5.27% (n = 84 069) of individuals born from 1983 to 1997, leaving a final cohort of 1 510 463 individuals, which included 2.38% (n = 35 940) from multiple births. Table 1 presents a summary of offspringspecific characteristics for the study cohort. Table 1. Descriptive summary of offspring and parental covariates for cohort with individuals born between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1997 Variable N (%)b Offspring-specific covariatesa Female sex 737 135 (48.80) Birth parity First 614 136 (40.66) Second 544 985 (36.08) Third 245 676 (16.26) Fourth or higher 105 666 (7.00) Maternal smoking during beginning of pregnancy No 1 078 039 (71.37) Yes 340 847 (22.57) Missing 91 577 (6.06) Mother's cohabitation status at time of offspring birth Living with father 1 336 498 (94.61) Not living with father 76 197 (5.39) Missing 97 768 (6.47) Father's age at childbearing , slanted]45 39 351 (2.61) Missing 11 730 (0.78) Mother's age at childbearing , slanted]45 973 (0.06) Parental-specific covariatesd Mother, N(%) Father, N(%) Primary/lower (, slanted]15 years (Fazel et al. 2009a ); and (5) low grade point average (GPA) in 9th grade, which consisted of a continuous measurement of GPA ranked into quintiles and further dichotomized, with the first quintile considered 'low GPA' (Lambe et al. 2006). Note that individuals who were born after 31 December 1994 were missing criminal conviction data, as these individuals were not yet 15 year...
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Introduction to Psychological Research: Literature Review
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In a longitudinal study conducted by Bramson et al. (2016) to examine how childhood
relocations affect the children development (research question), it was found that childhood
relocations increase the risk of adverse outcomes such as suicide attempts, low academic
achievement, and psychiatric problems. The findings further revealed that children who are
relocated at a young age are more likely to engage in criminal activity, substance abuse, and even
have lower incomes. Bramson et al. (2016) conclude that shared environmental and genetic
factors associated with severe mental illness, suicide attempt, criminal convictions, academic
performance, and substance abuse correlates with the outcome of relocations.
To test the research question, Bramson et al. (2016) use quasi-experimental designs,
family-based designs with logistic regression and Cox regression. The major limitations of the
study include small sample populations, the limited scope of discussions, generalization of the
facts, and a large degree of future research. To unearth clear facts, one needs to conduct an
intensive study in the future. Therefore, the study by Bramson et al. (2016) cannot be used to
make a tangible conclusion. In the study, there is a positive correlation between childhood
relocations (IV) and adverse outcomes (DV) such as suicide attempts, low academic
achievement, and psychiatric problems. This is true in the sense that an increase in childhood
relocations contributes to an increase in the severity of the adverse outcomes.
In a study conducted by Mok et al. (2016) where study populations 1,439,363 individuals
born in Denmark during 1971-1997 were used to examine how residential mobility affects the
life of a child (research question), it was established that childhood residential mobility is
directly linked to increased risks of developing various psychiatric disorders when someone
reach maturity. Residential mobility at childhood was highly linked to an increase in the use of


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