The role of peer relationships in adjustment to college

Lisa M. Swenson, Alicia Nordstrom, Marnie Hiester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


According to developmental research, peer relationships serve a positive function in children's, adolescents', and adults' lives. We expected that peer relationships would also benefit emerging adults as they transition into college. Using friendship quality and attachment measures, we examined the link between the closeness of peer relationships (with high school and college friends) and adjustment outcomes (academic, social, emotional, and institutional attachment) among 271 first-year college students. Results suggest that a close relationship with a high school friend is beneficial during the first weeks of college, but later in the first semester there are more benefits to having a close relationship with a new college friend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-567
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of College Student Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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