Study: Teens More Likely to Make Friends with Peers in Classes
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2013 Nov 20
What's the best predictor of who a teenager will become friends with? According to a new study, it's the classes he or she takes.
Researchers from Michigan State University found that teens are more likely to make friends with the people in their classes.
"People generally want to think that kids are choosing their friends from the well-known categories like jocks and nerds -- that it's like 'The Breakfast Club' and the same at every school," study researcher Kenneth Frank, a professor in the College of Education, said in a statement. "But our argument is that the opportunities an adolescent has to choose friends are guided by the courses the adolescent takes and the other students who take the courses with them. Moreover, the pattern of opportunities differs from school to school."
About 3,000 high school students from 78 different schools were surveyed for the study, which is published in the American Journal of Sociology.
In addition, researchers found that students were more likely to form bonds with other students who took the same set of classes as they did, regardless of their social status at the school, race or gender.