There is much similarity in the notion of friendship in different cultures, but at the same time friendships are influenced by their socio-cultural context (Devere, 2010). “Collectivists were more likely than individualists to report both attachment anxiety and avoidance, and anxiety and avoidance were both related to basing self-esteem on appearance and social support” (Cheng & Kwan, 2008, p. 509). Furthermore, in individualistic countries appreciation of friendships is more readily expressed verbally, whereas in collectivistic countries this often happens primarily nonverbally (Bello et al., 2010).
There seem to be cultural differences pertaining to intimacy in friendship (Weinberg, 2003). Findings from a study on Arab Israeli adolescents suggested that traditional societies might foster specific characteristics of intimate friendship. Moreover, among these adolescents intimacy was found to be related to parenting styles (Sharabany et al., 2008). It seems that intimacy is not necessarily based on self-disclosure. Kaplan (2006) described emotions between Israeli men in the light of the nationalism present in Israeli culture, and referred to the central role of the Israeli army when it comes to creating friendships between men. He depicted two models of friendship among men. The first model is the “cool” relationship, underscoring sociability and adventure seeking, involving nonverbal modes of communication and physical support. The other model is the “intellectual” relationship, stressing the exchange of ideas and soul talk (Kaplan, 2007).