Self Report of Close Friends and Revised


The Self Report of Close Friends was developed for the Seattle Social Development Project (O'Donnell, Hawkins & Abbott, 1995). The revised Self Report of Close Friends was modified for this project.

Abstract

The Self Report of Close Friends-Version III measure was adapted from an instrument developed for the Seattle Social Development Project (O’Donnell, Hawkins, & Abbott, 1995). The Fast Track Project original version of this measure was added to the child instrument battery in study year 8. The measure assesses characteristics of students’ best friends’ relationships. In year 8 of the Fast Track Project, students were asked to identify two best friends and answer questions regarding thoughts and feelings about the friend, commitment to the friend, and behaviors by the friend including delinquency, substance use, school motivation and parental attitudes toward the friend. Students were also asked to answer questions about these characteristics for their peer group in general.

In year 9 of the Fast Track Project, the measure was revised and used in all years thereafter. Instead of asking about the characteristics for the child’s peer group, the child is now asked about his/her third best friend. The revised version contains a total of 84 questions. The child is asked to answer 28 questions about each best friend, such as “How do you know your best friend,” “Do you enjoy spending time with this person,” and “Have the two of you ever sold drugs.” The same questions are repeated for each friend.

In year 14, the questionnaire was modified in order to remove questions related to school and relations with Police. Also, questions regarding marijuana and drug use were split, resulting in individual items. Consequently, the scales created in year 14 are fundamentally different than those used in years 13 and before. Longitudinal analyses of these scales are not possible beyond year 13, although scales for years 13 and 14, are comparable.

The items in this instrument can be grouped to assess four different constructs of children’s friendships for their first, second, and third best friends (Bonding, Deviance and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse, and Deviant Activities). In addition, each of these constructs is also assessed across all three friendships for four total scores: Total Bonding, Total Deviance and Substance Abuse, Total Substance Abuse, and Total Deviant Activities.

The individual scales for the items vary; a number of questions use yes/no responses, while other questions use scales such as 1 (“Very Much”) to 4 (“Not at All). Because of this variation in scaling, items used in the scales were standardized; these items have a “z” added to the item name to indicate that they were standardized. In addition, a number of items were reversed-scored in order to indicate high scores for the scales; these items have an “R” added to the item name to indicate that the item was reversed-scored.

Three new dichotomous variables were created to be able to examine whether the students’ best friends were of the same sex or of the opposite sex. These variables were not included in any of the scales. Additionally a final question in the instrument assesses whether the nominated best friend is also a romantic partner.

Bonding scales as wells as Total Bonding Across Friends are skewed to high values. The rest of the scales Deviance and Substance Abuse, Deviant Activities and Substance Abuse and their respective Totals Across Friends were negatively skewed.

A number of scales showed floor effects. The user is encouraged to examine all scales with care. In general, the scales collapsed across friends have higher internal consistency estimates, at least in part as a result of the greater number of items. Most items are straightforward in use and interpretation. The scale can be used in two ways. The first is to use the factors identified in this report. The second is to use individual items or create other scales.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: CyBN
Scored Dataset Name: CCVySCc

Keywords

Friendship, Peer Relationship, Alcohol Use, Drugs, Smoking, Illegal Behaviors.