Document Type


Publication Date

January 2016

Publication Title

Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies


How early adolescents characterize their friendships has yet to be fully explored. The current report examines this issue from two different models of friend selection (the similarity model vs. the features model). Friendship choice order was examined as a function of prosocial and aggressive behavior of the friend. Using multi-level modeling, we tested whether these associations differed based on the individual’s prosocial and aggressive behavior. Finally, contextual variables such as individualism and collectivism were also used to explain same-sex peer group differences. Data was collected from 420 early adolescents (Mage = 9.49 years, SD = .67; 124 male, 296 female) from six all-girls classes and six mixed-sex classes from Bogotá, Colombia. Interactions between friend and individual prosocial behavior and aggression were observed. In sum, the results provided support for both the similarity model and the features model of friendship and contextual differences were observed as a function of peer group levels of individualism and collectivism. The discussion highlights the novelty of this research question and methodological approach and offers potential future directions.