Female Friendships: The Impact of Traumatic Experiences on Personal Beliefs and Relationship Functioning
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Differences in quality of close female friendships between women with and without trauma history were explored. Self-report measures were used to examine trauma history and cognitive schemas of 149 college women. Conflict resolution, intimacy, and relationship satisfaction in close female friendships were explored, as well as social support, perceived social support, intimacy goals, and perceived intimacy goals. Women who did not report trauma history reported higher use of obliging and compromising conflict resolution style in their close friendships than those who reported trauma history. Experiencing a traumatic event within the last year was significantly correlated with lower frequency of communication with a best friend. This research sheds light on the reality of close female friendships and the potential effects that trauma can have on the functioning and success of such relationships.