The Science of BFFs


What's the scientific function of best friendship? Cristen and Caroline put besties and bromances under the microscope to discover the pros and cons of how these influential relationships shape our lives.

Episode sources:

"Are Best Friends Forever? Not For Women" by Stephanie Pappas. LiveScience. April 19, 2012. http://www.livescience.com/19777-female-friendships-aging.html

"Are Your Friends Making You Fat?" by Clive Thompson. The New York Times Magazine. Sept. 10, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/magazine/13contagion-t.html?pagewanted=all

"Are Your Genes Choosing Your Friends?" by Sarah Netter and Dana Malajian. ABC News. Jan. 17, 2011. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/genes-choosing-friends-relationships/story?id=12632839

"Does Making Friends Become More Difficult With Age?" by Stacia L. Brown. Clutch. July 16, 2012. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/07/does-making-friends-become-more-difficult-with-age/

"Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health" by Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic. Feb. 05, 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

"Friends Of a Certain Age" by Alex Williams. The New York Times. July 13, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/fashion/the-challenge-of-making-friends-as-an-adult.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"How to Make Friends When You're 'Old'" by Tracy Moore. Jezebel. April 30, 2013. http://jezebel.com/how-to-make-friends-when-youre-old-484680931

"What Are Friends For? A Longer Life" by Tara Parker Pope. The New York Times. April 20, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/health/21well.html

Academic insights:

"Achievement Motivation in Adolescents: The Role of Peer Climate and Best Friends" by R. Michael Nelson and Teresa K. DeBacker. Journal of Experimental Education. 2008. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3200/JEXE.76.2.170-190#.U9-S_mO-inq

"Best Friends: Alliances, Friend Ranking, and the MySpace Social Network" by Peter DeScioli et al. Perspectives on Psychological Science. January 2011. http://pps.sagepub.com/content/6/1/6.2.short

"Best Friends and Marriage: Exchange Among Women" by Stacey J. Oliker. University of California Press. 1989. http://books.google.com/books?id=sXETKlRz7vEC&dq=history+of+best+friends&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s

"Best friends forever?: High school best friendships and the transition to college" by Debra L. Oswald and Eddie M. Clark. Personal Relationships. April 17, 2003. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6811.00045/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

"Developmental Differences in Adolescents' and Young Adults' Use of Mothers, Fathers, Best Friends, and Romantic Partners to Fulfill Attachment Needs" by Dorothy Markiewicz et al. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. February 2006. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-005-9014-5

"Gender differences in adolescents' behavior during conflict resolution tasks with best friends" by Katherine A. Black. Adolescence. 2000. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2000-12545-007

"The smoking habit of a close friend or family member-how deep is the impact? A cross-sectional study" by Antti J. Saari, Jukka Kentala and Kari J. Mattila. BMJ Open. Feb. 18, 2014. http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/2/e003218.full?rss=1

Topics in this Podcast: science, relationships, friendship, Valentine's Day, best friends