Friendship Jealousy in Young Adolescents: Individual Differences and Links to Sex, Self-Esteem, Aggression, and Social Adjustment

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Children’s vulnerability to jealousy surrounding their best friends was explored in 2 studies. Study 1 involved 94 adolescents who reported on their friendship jealousy on a newly created measure. Results indicated that the jealousy measure had sound psychometric properties and produced individual differences that were robust over time and free from socially desirable responding. As expected, girls and adolescents with low self-worth reported the greatest friendship jealousy. Study 2 involved 399 young adolescents and extended the measurement of self-report jealousy to a broader age range. In addition, study 2 included assessments of jealousy provided by friends and other peers. Self- and peer-reported jealousy were only modestly associated and had somewhat distinct correlates. Structural modeling revealed that young adolescents’ reputation for friendship jealousy was linked to behaving aggressively and to broader peer adjustment difficulties. Both self- and peer-reported jealousy contributed to loneliness.