Kuhlemeier, A. (2021). Effects of Friendship among Same-Sex Attracted Youth on Sexual Minority Identity Development in Young Adulthood. J Homosex.
pp. 1-26 , PMCID: PMC8521548
Using data from Waves 1 and 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study investigated the interactive impact of adolescent friendship network characteristics and same-sex attraction (SSA) on the development of sexual minority (SM) identity in young adulthood. Results indicate that SSA youth who identified a best friend that also identified them as their best friend were 5.3 times more likely to identify as a SM compared to those who did not experience reciprocity. For each additional classmate who listed them as a friend, SSA youth were 1.2 times more likely to identify as a SM. Increased centrality in friendship network increased the likelihood that SSA youth would identify as a SM by 1.8 times. Sex-stratified results reveal that particular network characteristics impact boys and girls differently. These findings point to the importance of further investigating relationships between friendship characteristics and identity formation among adolescents.