Patricia Niland

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Young adults' friendships: Over a network, over a drink

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Friendships are crucial relationships for young adults, yet their own sense-making of friendship within their everyday social lives remains under-explored. As a social practice, friendship is constituted through people’s shared meanings within everyday contexts. For young adults, their social networking and their drinking cultures are two key social arenas. Ms Niland explored young New Zealand adults’ meanings and practices of friendship in relation to their use of Facebook and their drinking practices. She conducted friendship focus groups across New Zealand and screen recorded interviews with young adults showing and talking about their Facebook pages and their drinking. This research provides new knowledge about the complexities and work involved for young adults to ‘do’ their friendships within a technologically mediated social world, and within an entrenched societal drinking culture. The findings contribute key insights for health initiatives (particularly alcohol harm-reduction strategies) that seek to promote healthier lives for young adults.

Professor Antonia Lyons
Dr Fiona Hutton
Dr Ian Goodwin

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