Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jeannette Seaberry

Second Advisor

David Carter

Third Advisor

Judy Harrington


This study investigates the characteristics that are important to middle school students when they choose their friends. The subjects for this research study are seventh, eighth, and ninth graders with ages ranging from 11-15 years old.

The population surveyed was limited to 47 middle-school aged children whose parents responded to a flyer posted in one of two college universities. The study design was a 14-question value survey using a Likert scale. The questions relate to the importance of various characteristics in choosing friends. The survey also included demographic questions pertaining to the subject’s gender, grade level, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and family make-up.

Cross-tabulation and descriptive statistics were used to explain the nonhypotheses data. The statistical method used to analyze the hypotheses data was the t-test. An attempt at verifying consistency of responses was made by rewording and asking the hypotheses questions twice in the survey.

The major finding of this study showed that males tend to choose friends based on their same gender more than females. This difference was found to be statistically significant by the t-test performed on the data.

Included in

Psychology Commons