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The Meaning And Value Of Friendship Amongst Higher Education Students

Introduction: The Meaning And Value Of Friendship Amongst Higher Education Students

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Friendship is considered a medium to long-term cooperative relationship between two unrelated people and is considered a universal feature of social life. It has been identified that friendship provides benefits for psychological health and well-being (Ayers et al. 2021). In terms of friendship, an unknown relationship has been formed between traits and trust. The value of friendship builds trust, and happiness and it improves self-confidence. Further, self-worthiness is another trait identified among people based on friendship.

The purpose of this report is to identify the value of friendship among higher educated students. This report is going to collect information regarding the value of friendship from previous journals. Based on previous journals, this report is going to develop research aims, objectives, and questions. Research methods are going to be discussed in this report. This report is going to discuss research design, data collection method, sampling, and data analysis. In addition, this report is going to analyze research data to meet research aims and objectives. Finally, a reflection based on the entire study is going to be covered in this report. Limitations and future implications of the report regarding the value of friendship are going to be discussed in this report.

Literature Review

Define Friendship

Friendship is a basic thing for everyone. According to Hojjat et al. (2017), friendship is a relationship that helps to create a strong bond with each other. Apart from this, all students, employees, and all people need to maintain a friendship, so that they can enhance their behavior and help each other in each critical situation. On the other hand, these authors have stated that friendship influences the personality that can be reflected in professional domains. A student or employee or any people should be aware to avoid difficulties regarding their relations. It can be said that friendship is a valuable factor for everyone to make a good relationship with each other.

Importance of Friendship

Friendship can mitigate major difficulties that can be found in a person. Here, friendship can eliminate mental obstacles, which is very important to make a strong relationship. Based on this fact, Clifton, (2021) stated that a student should interact with friends and find a faithful and trustworthy partner to share anything with that person. In this way, that student can overcome stress, frustration, and other mental issues. On the other hand, friendship is helping to get benefits in the academic domains. A good friend is always sharing lecture notes, and demonstrating the critical aspects of some specific topic. In this friendship is developing the bonding between two and more than two persons.

Impact of Good Friendship

According to Chierchia, Tufano, & Coricelli, (2020), friendship is reducing strategic uncertainty and toxic coordination. It can be said that students can learn the impact of friendship by behaving well with classmates. Many risks, attitude issues, academic sustainability, and many other things can be developed with the help of friends. It is the strongest relationship that can increase the mental health to do different tasks despite having more difficulties in it. It becomes easier to make decisions with the help of friends. In this way, psychological evolution can see in a student. 

The negative impact of Friendship

Not all friends are good; some friends are not willing to goodness for their classmates. Apart from this, a student needs to be aware of those friends. In this case, fake friends decrease motivation; they do not help to manage critical situations in the classroom. This activity does not encourage students. Regarding this case, Sheikh et al. (2021) stated that fake friends are giving the wrong news; in addition, fake friends can be found on social media platforms. Due to this reason, a student needs to identify the real and fake friends, which can take ahead towards success.

Benefits of Friendships

The benefit of friendship is boundless; with the help of this relation, a student can overcome mental health, and learn social and cultural aspects. In this way, a good culture can be spread within the classroom. The proper communication process can be learned, understanding of academic contexts and many more things can be achieved with the help of friends. Therefore, it is clear that friendship is helping to enhance the quality of bonding, make a good behavioral structure, and share valuable information. Nevertheless, having negative friends during higher education can also discourage academic achievement.

Aim and objectives

Aim

This report aims to identify the value and meaning of friendship among educated students

Objectives

  • To identify a relationship between friendship and psychological well-being
  • To discuss the meaning of friendship among higher-educated students

Research question

What is the meaning and value of friendship among higher-educated students?

Method

Study design

A research study is covering the value of friendship; based on this topic, researchers are focusing on different aspects of friendships. With the help of descriptive design, the value of friendship can be described. According to Gómez et al. (2018), descriptive design and norms help to elaborate multiple aspects of friends. In this case, readers can easily understand the value of friendship, which demonstrates the beneficial aspects of friendship. Apart from this, researchers are focusing on students of schools and universities to get accurate results. It has been found that many students have been influenced by the help of friends in their higher education. In this way, students can manage their mental health, norms, ethical factors behavioral structure, and other things. Here, all researchers are focusing on the points that provide valuable information regarding this research topic.

Participants

Here, the sample size is 2. Two students are taken in this research session. An interview session is going on in this program. Here, researchers are asking questions to students based on friendships, thoughts of friendships, and many more things. The sample size is another important part of a research session, where more than one participant is included to provide their valuable answers. In this case, two students are taken to know their opinion regarding the value of friendship. Researchers are making a comfortable environment for those two participants to get accurate results from them. In this way, the sampling technique helps to provide information. 

Material

For this research, the primary qualitative data collection method is used to get accurate results from participants. Here, two students are participants in the interview session. Here, researchers are making some questionnaires regarding the value of friends. Based on Hamilton, & Finley, (2019) statement, the qualitative data collection method provides accurate and current information that is happening in the research session. With the help of this method, the proper examination can be acquired, flexible collaborative factors, a good management model and many other things can be achieved with the help of the qualitative method. Moreover, this method also demonstrates the negative impact of friendship. Sometimes, fake friends are de-motivating students; in that case, they become unable to do any task or do something wrong. Due to this reason, a student needs to inspire other friends by communicating with each other. The negotiation process can be implemented in that case.

Procedure and data analysis

Here, thematic data analysis is an essential method of the data analysis section. Thematic analysis enhances the quality of research, where different types of data can be analyzed with the help of this analysis method. Scharp, & Sanders, (2019) explained that researchers are collecting data from interviews and negotiating all data to measure its accuracy. After that, relevant data based on friendship is briefly described by implementing different aspects. Therefore, it is clear that thematic analysis is helping to enhance the multiple aspects regarding the value of friendship. This topic helps readers to understand this research topic to upgrade their behavior.

Analysis

Theme 1: Friendship boosts happiness and reduces stress

Friendship is one of the crucial behaviors, that influence the traits of compassion for others (CFO). According to Sanchez et al. (2020), a CFO can be recognized as being open to others and having non-judgemental behavior, which influences the statement that humans are imperfect and everyone, can make mistakes. In contrast, Leibowitz, (2018) argued that friendship is considered as a unidirectional relationship that influences an individual towards a happy life. Here, it can be stated that the CFO's behavior is associated with friendship, which leads an individual toward a happy life.

“Displaying compassion for others (CFO) and utilizing friendship maintenance (FM) behaviors are positively associated with happiness”

It has been identified that CFO is associated with three distinct pillars such as kindness, mindfulness, and common humanity. It has been identified that mindfulness behavior influences the understanding of people regarding their issues and troubles. Common humanity is recognized as understanding the behavior of an individual to view others they are suffering from issues. Kindness indicates warmth and behavior towers over the sufferer (Sanchez et al. 2020). Here, it can be stated from the above discussion that CFO is associated with multiple dimensions, which influence positive behavior and foster the psychological health and well-being of people.

On the other hand, Ayers et al. (2021) reported that friendship is one of common relationships, which does not only lead an individual towards a happy life, rather it allows an individual to share their feelings which helps to reduce the issue of stress. In contrast, Sanchez et al. (2021) argued that the CFO perspective in friendship helps to reduce the burden of stress by focusing on three main pillars such as kindness, mindfulness, and common humanity. Here, it can be stated that friendship is focused on CFO perspectives and it reduces stress of people and influences them towards a happy and healthy life.

On the other hand, Alexander stated in the interview session that he could not choose his family; however, she chose his friend circles, which became closer to me than my family. It has been identified from the interview transcript that Alexander stated, “I trust my friends and I can share everything with my friends '. It has been identified that trust among friends is built based on CFO characteristics. This literature also stated that trust and feeling of comfort help to reduce stress and lead people towards a happy life. Here, it can be stated that friendship plays a significant role in reducing stress and leading people towards a happy life.

By focusing on the interview transcript of Alexander, it has been identified that he expressed that in university he feels happy in university life due to his friends’ jokes and their stupid things. Warren et al. (2018) stated that regular laughs, jokes, and fun activities influence an individual psychological perspective followed by reducing the issue of the stress of an individual. Therefore, by focusing on the above discussion and literature review of this research report, it has been identified that the value of friendship is immense. It focuses on three distinct features such as kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness, which allow an individual to become open, and comfortable and improve their psychological well-being. Therefore, it can be summarized from the above analysis that friendship leads people towards a happy life followed by it rescues stress and it meets the requirements of the first objective.

Theme 2: The value of friendship is directly proportional to psychological health and wellbeing

Friendship is recognized as a common activity of human life, which helps to transform a stranger into a significant member of life, and it plays a crucial role. It has been identified that friendship is recognized as a social phenomenon, which ensures an individual's life since their childhood (Wicaksono & Adiyanti, 2019). This literature also stated that friends played a significant role in providing effective emotional support to the parents. In contrast, Lim (2021) argued that besides emotional support, friendship is one of the significant factors, which improve the communication skills of individuals by marinating significant attachment. Here, it can be stated that friendship is a social phenomenon, which influences an individual's life followed by their emotional support and communication skills. In the context of higher-educated students, it can be stated that friendship played a significant role in improving their communication skills and psychological well-being.

“Friendship is a form of human activity that is important and full of meaning”

It has to be mentioned here that effective communication skill does not only influence social life, rather it influences an individual towards their professional excitement. By focusing on the interview session with Deborah it has been identified that she had developed a significant friendship bond, which not only influenced her studies of her degree course but also helped her to build significant social interaction. Therefore, it can be stated that friendship is one of the crucial factors, which influence an individual towards significant social life.

Friendship and attachment style depend on responsiveness, attachment, and similarities between both parties (Wicaksono & Adiyanti, 2019). This literature believes that the same conditions or attitudes to feeling other feelings are a common factor, which influences the quality of friendship. Further, Lim (2021) reported that togetherness, mutual understanding, and similarities influence the relationship of friendship. Significant attachment and mutual understanding influence the psychological health and well-being of people. In the context of Deborah's interview session, she shared that “ I just remember sitting next to her 50 and we just started talking and she was a mum and I was a mum and we just had little 51 things like that"(Deborah interview transcript pp. 2). Deborah expressed that she and her friend are both new parents, which are common things, identified that build significant attachment. Here, it can be stated that attachment and similar things, strong friendship bonds followed by it influence an individual towards a happy life. Similarities allow people to share feelings and improve their psychological health and well-being. 

Communication is one of the key builders, that foster the friendship quality and relationship between two parties (Wicaksono & Adiyanti, 2019). In contrast, Lim, (2021) stated that a strong bond between two patients developed based on their language and their communication. Here, it can be stated that regular communication is one of the significant factors behind developing strong bonds followed by the quality of friendship. In addition, Deborah shared in her interview session that "we're both mums and we both you know we're on the 34 phones all the time" (Deborah interview transcript pp. 2). Deborah also shared that this regular communication or phone calls improves our bonding, and friendship quality that influences our psychological health and wellbeing. Hence, it can be summarized that friendship improves psychological health and well-being. On the other hand, the literature review of this search report has identified that the value of friendship helps to improve psychological health and well-being. Therefore, it can be concluded that friendship is maintained in a directly proportional relationship with psychological health and well-being. This theme is related to the first objective of this study.

Theme 3: Friendship fosters trust, self-confidence, and emotional wellbeing

Friendship is recognized as a crucial interpersonal concept among people, which builds significant social interaction (Li et al. 2018). In contrast, Friedman & Rizzolo (2018) argued that friendship is not only a social relationship rather it is associated with multiple benefits including positive psychology, trust, and an increased sense of belonging. It has been identified that a strong sense of belonging is directly connected with self-confidence and motivation. Here, it can be stated that friendship is associated with social interaction followed by it improving a sense of belonging and self-confidence. By focusing on the interview session of Deborah, it has been identified that she was very talkative and shared her feelings with others. In the interview session, it has been identified that she has significant communication skills. Effective communication skills improve her confidence followed by friendship. Here, it can be stated that friendship is one of the crucial relations, that help to influence communication skills, a sense of belonging followed by self-confidence.

“Friendship plays a critical role in social commerce in contemporary societies”

According to Doogan et al. (2019), friendship is recognized as one of the significant factors, which helps to improve the quality of life of an individual by improving their social interaction. In addition, this literature stated that the key pillar of friendship develops an effective friendship between two parties. In contrast, Eggermont et al. (2021) stated that friendship is associated with multiple advantages such as it helps to reduce the probability of self-injury, and stress and it improves self-confidence among people. Therefore, it can be summarized from the above analysis that friendship is a social relation, that improves trust, and self-confidence and reduces the probability of self-injury.

By focusing on the interview session of Alexander, it has been identified that he expressed “Yeah trust, what else? That they’re friendly and nice, erm that they accept me for who I am erm”. In this interview session, it has been identified that Alexander expressed that he did not trust an individual at the first meeting. Further, he expressed that he trusts his friends over everything. Therefore, by focusing on the above data it has been identified that friendship helps to improve trust among people. It has to be mentioned here that trust is one of the crucial pillars behind the value of friendship. On the other hand, in the interview session Deborah shared that whenever talks about friends, she feels that communicating with them reduces everyday stress. Therefore, it has been identified that friendship is one of the crucial factors, which improve emotional wellbeing followed by psychological safety. Here, it can be summarized that friendship is associated with trust, self-confidence, and emotional well-being and this theme meets the second objective.

Reflexivity and conclusion

Summary

This report can be concluded that friendship is one of the significant factors, which influence trust, self-confidence, and psychological well-being. The purpose of this report was to identify the value of friendship among highly educated students. This report has identified that friendship improves psychological health and well-being followed by influences on emotional support. This report has identified that friendship helps to improve trust, and emotional well-being among people.

Reflection

I have learned that friendship is one of the crucial factors, which build positive social relationships. In addition, I have learned from the report that friendship improves the psychological health and well-being of people. Furthermore, I have identified from the above discussion that friendship helps to improve trust, self-confidence, and emotional support. It has been identified that friendship is a significant factor in emotional safety and well-being.

Limitations and Future Research

This report has failed to identify the negative impact of friendship on students' academic life. In this regard, in the future, this report will focus on both the positive and negative impact of friendship on students' academic life.

References

Ayers, J. D., Krems, J., & Aktipis, A. (2021). Do rules of friendship tell us what kinds of traits we value in friends? Department of Psychology. https://psyarxiv.com/jd7xv/download?format=pdf

Ayers, J., Beltran, D. G., Van Horn, A., Cronk, L., Todd, P. M., & Aktipis, A. (2021). The changing landscape of friendship in the pandemic: Males, younger people, and less educated people experience more negative effects of the pandemic on their friendships. Department of Psychology. https://psyarxiv.com/wkj4x/download?format=pdf

Chierchia, G., Tufano, F., & Coricelli, G. (2020). The differential impact of friendship on cooperative and competitive coordination. Theory and Decision89(4), 423-452. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11238-020-09763-3

Clifton, T. E. (2021). The interaction of friendship difficulty and foster status and its association with mental health (Doctoral dissertation). Doi: https://baylor-ir.tdl.org/handle/2104/11613

Doogan, N. J., Light, J. M., Stevens, E. B., & Jason, L. A. (2019). Quality of life as a predictor of social relationships in Oxford House. Journal of substance abuse treatment101, 79-87. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557298/

Eggermont, K., Bastin, M., Luyckx, K., & Claes, L. (2021). Do gender and age moderate the relationship between friendship quality and non-suicidal self-injury in community children and adolescents?. Psychologica Belgica61(1), 315. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc8588898/

Friedman, C., & Rizzolo, M. C. (2018). Friendship, quality of life, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities30(1), 39-54. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carli-Friedman/publication/320333288_Friendship_Quality_of_Life_and_People_with_Intellectual_and_Developmental_Disabilities/links/5ceef5a6299bf1fb184946ac/Friendship-Quality-of-Life-and-People-with-Intellectual-and-Developmental-Disabilities.pdf

Gómez, Á., Tropp, L. R., Vázquez, A., Voci, A., & Hewstone, M. (2018). Depersonalized extended contact and injunctive norms about cross-group friendship impact intergroup orientations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology76, 356-370. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2018.02.010

Hamilton, A. B., & Finley, E. P. (2019). Qualitative methods in implementation research: an introduction. Psychiatry research280, 112516. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112629

Hojjat, M., Moyer, A., & Halpin, A. M. (Eds.). (2017). The psychology of friendship. Oxford University Press.

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/id/eprint/108934

Leibowitz, U. D. (2018). What is Friendship?. Disputatio: International Journal of Philosophy10(49). http://www.disputatio.letras.ulisboa.pt/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/10-disp-2018-0008.pdf

Li, Q., Liang, N., & Li, E. Y. (2018). Does friendship quality matter in social commerce? An experimental study of its effect on purchase intention. Electronic Commerce Research18(4), 693-717. http://eli.johogo.com/pdf/ECR-2018.pdf

Lim, A. S. (2021). Attachment Style, Friendship Quality and the Mediating Effect of Communication Skills in Young Adults Friendship. Journal of Psychology and Instruction5(1), 33-42. https://ejournal.undiksha.ac.id/index.php/JoPaI/article/viewFile/32781/19664

Sanchez, M., Haynes, A., Parada, J. C., & Demir, M. (2020). Friendship maintenance mediates the relationship between compassion for others and happiness. Current Psychology39(2), 581-592. https://par.nsf.gov/servlets/purl/10055620

Scharp, K. M., & Sanders, M. L. (2019). What is a theme? Teaching thematic analysis in qualitative communication research methods. Communication Teacher33(2), 117-121. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2018.1536794

Sheikh, M. A., Mumtaz, T., Sohail, N., Ahmed, B., & Noor, Z. (2021). Fake News Acceptance by Demographics and Culture On Social Media. Doi:

Trask, S. L., Horstman, H. K., & Hesse, C. (2020). Deceptive affection across relational contexts: A group comparison of romantic relationships, cross-sex friendships, and friends with benefits relationships. Communication Research47(4), 623-643. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0093650219841736

Warren, C., Barsky, A., & McGraw, A. P. (2018). Humor, comedy, and consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Research45(3), 529-552. https://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/mcgrawp/pdf/warren.barsky.mcgraw.2018.pdf

Wicaksono, B., & Adiyanti, M. G. (2019). Understanding the dynamics of friendship formation among high school adolescent: Indigenous psychology approach. Psychological Research and Intervention2(1), 28-35. https://journal.uny.ac.id/index.php/pri/article/viewFile/28048/13053

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