Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 783–797 | Cite as

Conflict Resolution in Mexican American Adolescents’ Friendships: Links with Culture, Gender and Friendship Quality

  • Shawna M. Thayer
  • Kimberly A. Updegraff
  • Melissa Y. Delgado
Empirical Research


This study was designed to describe the conflict resolution practices used in Mexican American adolescents’ friendships, to explore the role of cultural orientations and values and gender-typed personality qualities in conflict resolution use, and to assess the connections between conflict resolution and friendship quality. Participants were 246 Mexican American adolescents (M = 12.77 years of age) and their older siblings (M = 15.70 years of age). Results indicated that adolescents used solution-oriented strategies most frequently, followed by nonconfrontation and control strategies. Girls were more likely than boys to use solution-oriented strategies and less likely to use control strategies. Familistic values and gender-typed personality qualities were associated with solution-oriented conflict resolution strategies. Finally, conflict resolution strategies were related to overall friendship quality: solution-oriented strategies were positively linked to intimacy and negatively associated with friendship negativity, whereas nonconfrontation and control strategies were associated with greater relationship negativity.


Mexican American youth Friendships Conflict resolution Gender 



We are grateful to the families and youth who participated in this project, and to the following schools and districts who collaborated: Osborn, Mesa, and Gilbert school districts, Willis Junior High School, Supai and Ingleside Middle Schools, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Gregory, St. Francis Xavier, St. Mary-Basha, and St. John Bosco. We thank Susan McHale, Ann Crouter, Mark Roosa, Nancy Gonzales, Roger Millsap, Jennifer Kennedy, Lorey Wheeler, Devon Hageman, and Lilly Shanahan for their assistance in conducting this investigation and Ann Crouter and Susan McHale for their comments on this paper. Funding was provided by NICHD grant R01HD39666 (Kimberly Updegraff, Principal Investigator, Ann C. Crouter and Susan M. McHale, co-principal investigators, Mark Roosa, Nancy Gonzales, and Roger Millsap, co-investigators) and the Cowden Fund to the School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shawna M. Thayer
    • 1
  • Kimberly A. Updegraff
    • 1
  • Melissa Y. Delgado
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Family and Human Development, School of Social and Family DynamicsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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