My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship
Intimacy and attachment
Since heterosexual marriage is losing its centrality in Western society, there is an increasing tendency of people to center their lives around friendship bonds and non-normative forms of intimacy and care (Roseneil & Budgeon, 2004). Friendships vary in their degree of intimacy. Intimacy between same-sex friends was related to self-disclosure (Bowman, 2008). “Subjects high in intimacy motivation reported (a) more dyadic friendship episodes, (b) more self-disclosure among friends, (c) more listening, and (d) more concern for the well-being of friends than did those low in intimacy motivation” (McAdams et al., 1984, p. 828). Friendships though need to be mutual. Perceived partner responsiveness was found to mediate the relationships between self- disclosure and intimacy (Shelton et al., 2010).
In addition, general patterns of attachment influence friendships. Thus, secure attachment was found to enhance more intimacy in friendships (Bender, 1999; Grabill & Kerns, 2000). Securely attached friends rated each other as less hostile and anxious, approached potential conflicts more directly and felt closer to one another as a result of the conflict resolution process (Bender, 1999). Moreover, “individuals with fearful attachment styles showed significantly less hope, self-disclosure, and relationship satisfaction than individuals with secure, dismissing, or preoccupied attachment styles” (Welch & Houser, 2010, p. 351). Attachment is a universal phenomenon (Sagi, 1990), but still there appear to be differences in attachment styles across cultures (Reebye et al., n.d.; Schmitt, 2003).