First Advisor

David L. Ritchie

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




College students -- Japan -- Attitudes, Interpersonal relations -- Japan, Friendship -- Japan



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 193 p.)


Using a total of 529 Japanese college students (275 females, 254 males) living in Japan, the present study employed five sequential stages. First, it explored Japanese people's beliefs about relational satisfaction with best friends and the organization of these beliefs. In order to explore these beliefs and their organization, this study replicated Cole and Bradac's (1994) study of a lay theory of relational satisfaction with best friends, which focused on people from the United States. The study then examined similarities and differences of Japanese beliefs and organization of the beliefs with those of the U.S. Lastly, the study investigated Japanese gender influence on the beliefs concerning relational satisfaction with best friends. Thirty-nine Japanese beliefs about relational satisfaction with best friends were identified and multidimensional scaling analyses suggested that these beliefs were organized along three dimensions. These dimensions were related to a best friend's a) interpersonal-social desirable characteristics, b) interdependent-dependent dependability, and c) interpersonal-social demeanor or active-passive support. Comparison of the beliefs in this study to those of Cole and Bradac's (1994) revealed both similarities and differences of beliefs concerning relational satisfaction with best friends between Japanese and U.S. subjects. The differences were explained by Triandis (1986) and others' (e.g., Hofstede, 1984) cultural dimension of individualism-collectivism and Hofstede's (1984) uncertainty-avoidance. Comparison of organization of beliefs between the two studies implied that both Japanese and U.S. cultures shared the dimensions of desirable characteristics and dependability. However, the Japanese organization did not share the U.S. first dimension which related to a best friend's level of activity. This finding was explained by Hofstede's (1984) cultural dimension of uncertainty-avoidance and Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's (1961) activity orientation. Exploration of Japanese gender influence on beliefs about relational satisfaction with best friends suggested some shared gender influences across cultures as well as culturally specific gender influences concerning friendships. The culturally specific gender influences were explained by traditional gender roles and recent changes of women's status and their influence on women's perception in the Japanese culture. In conclusion, the results suggest that Japanese people possess a complex of beliefs about relational satisfaction with best friends and that these beliefs are organized along three dimensions. The results also suggest that there are both similarities and differences concerning relational satisfaction with best friends between Japan and the U.S.


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