Intimacy is one of the primary factors that distinguishes close friends from distant friends and acquiantances. Since intimacy is considered an important aspect of peer friendships, researchers have begun to explore and understand intimacy in greater detail. Intimacy in same-sex peer friendships was assessed in the present study by interviewing fifth graders and eighth graders from Indonesia and the United States. Self-disclosure, emotionally centered behaviors, and activity centered behaviors were included in the present study's conceptualization of intimacy. Gender, developmental, and cultural differences were found in the results. Females mentioned more emotionally centered behaviors in their descriptions of their friends than males. Fifth graders reported more activity centered behaviors in their interviews than eighth graders, and eighth graders reported more emotionally centered behaviors. The Indonesian and U.S. participants showed some similarities and differences in their descriptions of their friendships. There is controversy among researchers on whether or not activity centered behaviors should be included in the definition of intimacy. According to the present study, activity centered behaviors appear to be sufficiently different from emotionally centered behaviors to be included in the same definition of intimacy.
Fosco '00, Andrea M., "United States and Indonesian Children's Reports of Intimacy in their Same-Sex Friendships: Gender, Developmental, and Cultural Differences" (2000). Honors Projects. Paper 86.