Values – the motivational goals defining what is important to us – are not only guiding our everyday decisions and behaviors, they can also explain how we got here and indicate paths we might choose in the future. Existing research produced a multitude of frameworks linking values to sociologically relevant dimensions. But life is social. Embedded in various social systems, people are constantly subject to interpersonal influence. We analyze 73 friendship networks of adolescents with a focus on value adaption, its reflection in life satisfaction, the distinctive forms of gender- and value homophily and their interactions across the stages of friendship. We find that a.) pursuing value types representing intrinsic goals is reflected in higher life satisfaction, b.) gender homophily is most salient for creating- and value homophily for maintaining friendships, c.) some value priorities are subsumed in gender stereotypes and d.) others show diminishing utilities on similarity in same-sex friendships.

Author: Martin Kindschi