Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Deirdre Johnston

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Interpersonal relationships are inextricably linked to a person’s overall sense of well-being (Seligman, 2011). However, previous research has often neglected to examine variance in the quality of communication within these relationships. The purpose of this study is to compare communication patterns of American and Japanese students within their family and peer group, to see if Family Intimacy and Family Cohesion affect Peer Intimacy and Family Cohesion. Japan is traditionally a collectivistic culture, characterized by strong family ties and deep connections between friends, while America is characterized by individualism, an emphasis on personal accomplishment, and looser interpersonal ties. The hypotheses of this study are that (H1) there is a positive correlation between Family Intimacy and Peer Intimacy, and (H2) the quality of these relationships is positively correlated with overall Life Satisfaction. Data was collected via an online survey administered to American college students, and a translated survey administered to Japanese university students. The survey results were compiled into three different scales: Cohesion-Intimacy, Conflict Resolution, and overall Life Satisfaction. The last section of the survey measured respondents’ level of overall life satisfaction. The results suggest that positive family relationships are important in developing positive peer relationships.