Fred W. Sanborn, Ph.D.

Advisor: Dr. Mark Barnett

Dissertation Title

Cross-sex friendships: a cross-sectional exploration

Dissertation Abstract

Participants in five age groups (8-12, 13-17, 18-25, 26-44, and 45-64 years) were surveyed regarding their experiences with and attitudes toward cross-sex (i.e., male-female) friendships. A majority of participants in all age groups reported having at least one cross-sex friend, although those in the adolescent (13-17) and young adult (18-25) age groups were the most likely to have cross-sex friendships. Also, both those with and without personal cross-sex friendships viewed cross-sex friendships positively and as a "blending" of female-female and male-male friendships but more like female-female friendships. In addition, those with personal cross-sex friends tended to view their own most important cross-sex friendships as less extreme (in both positive and negative ways) than typical cross-sex friendships.


Ph.D., Psychology, Kansas State University, 2004