Friendship Expectations of Early Adolescents in Cuba and Canada Gonzales, Y. S. , & Moreno, D. S. , & Schneider, B. H.
(2004). Friendship expectations of early adolescents in Cuba and Canada. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35, 436-445. The article entitled "Friendship Expectations of Early Adolescents in Cuba and Canada" is a study done to see whether the emphasis of character education, as in Cuba, or moral education, as in Canada, create different types of friendships in developing adolescents. He purpose of this study is to see how much the Cuban culture, which is interdependent, is reproduced in the children's idea of friendship. The Canadians were used to compare the results from Cuba to.
The author's hypothesis is that the idea of friendship in Cuba would be more advanced than the Canadian idea, because of the emphasis of interdependence. In this study there are three hundred Cuban and two hundred and ninety-four Canadian students in grades seven, eight, and nine. The seventh graders are the youngest chosen because that is the first year that the students start a new school in both countries. Both groups off students were taken from large cities in their respective countries. The researchers asked the students to write an essay about what a best friend, of the same-sex, should be willing to do for them, and what makes a best friend different from any other friend. These essays were then "graded" by two raters using a category of numbers, from 1 (not mentioned at all), to 4 (especially important).
The results of this study were varied between the two countries answers. The responses from the subjects could be described as character admiration, and were much more likely to be used by the Canadian adolescents. An example of this was that the Canadian students said that their friends should be easygoing, and does not make them be someone they are not. In contrast many Cubans responded that they like their best friends because of their willingness to help others, and do things for the good of the group.
Some of the ideas that were seen as important to one culture were not as important to the other. For example the theme of help given to a friend was present in 82% of Cuban essays, but only present in 22% of Canadian essays. Also, the theme of similar personalities was included in 97% of Cuban essays, and only included in 38% of Canadian essays. These results are what the surveyors predicted would happen. They thought that the collective culture would be more advanced in making advanced friendships. In my opinion this was a good study.
I think that this is a good study because it shows that two forms of teaching our children about how society should interact create such a definite difference in the attributes people look for in friends. If I could ask the authors two questions about this study, I would ask them how they decided upon Cuba and Canada as their groups for study in this survey, why them and not other countries? I also would ask them how they decided that three hundred Cubans, and 294 Canadians would be a sufficient number of students to receive essays from, and why the number are not the same? One strength of this study is that the conductors of this study were from the countries that were being observed, so they have more knowledge of the way society in those countries functions. A weakness of this study is that only two countries were observed. This is a weakness because the data presented could be true, but only in relation of Cuba to Canada.