Girl talk: Gossip, friendship, and sociometric status

Journal Article

This study examined the characteristics of gossip among fourth-grade girls and their close friends. Sixty friendship dyads were videotaped as they engaged in conversation, and their gossip was coded. Analyses revealed gossip to be a dominant feature of their interaction and that it was primarily neutral in valence. Sociometrically popular girls and their friends were observed to gossip more about peers, and their gossip was more evaluative than that between rejected girls and their friends. Gossip frequency and valence related to observed friendship closeness and friendship quality. Race differences in the characteristics of gossip were also explored. The study results are important in our efforts to develop a fuller understanding of the important interpersonal process of gossip and the functions that it serves in the context of close friendships. Copyright © 2007 by Wayne State University Press.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McDonald, KL; Putallaz, M; Grimes, CL; Kupersmidt, JB; Coie, JD

Published Date

  • January 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 381 - 411

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0272-930X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1353/mpq.2007.0017

Citation Source

  • Scopus