"We were just talking ...": Conversations in early adolescence

Marcela Raffaelli, Elena Duckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores young adolescents' experience of talk, examining changes in boys' and girls' patterns of communication with family and friends. The data consist of immediate self-reports provided by 401 5th-9th grade students during the course of one week of their normal lives. Results indicate that while time spent talking to friends increased dramatically across this age period, especially for girls, talk with family members remained stable. Analysis of topics of conversation suggests that older children turned to friends for discussions of age-related concerns while continuing to discuss daily issues with family members. Talk with friends did not appear to replace talk with family members but rather represented a new facet of the social world, supplementing existing family relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-582
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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