Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Heather Bortfeld, Nairan Ramirez-Esparza

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Friendships are important for social and emotional adjustment. Friendships are adaptive, as they help in the maturation of social skills (Asher, Parker, & Walker, 1996; Berndt, 1982; Sullivan, 1953) and provide emotional and cognitive resources for support and coping (Berndt, 1982). However, not all friendships are created equal. Differences exist across the sexes, particularly in regards to emotion disclosure. The current study assesses girls’ and boys’ emotion disclosure to same-sex and cross-sex friends. It also explores the relationship between emotion disclosure and empathetic distress- a maladaptive form of empathizing with a friend. In a subsample of Latino boys, this study explores girls’ and boys’ patterns of emotion disclosure to same-sex and cross-sex friends and the relationship of machismo with emotion disclosure patterns.

Major Advisor

Rhiannon Smith