Emerging adulthood is a time of self-exploration. However, individuals at this stage of life are particularly vulnerable to adverse life experiences that could impact identity development. Research indicates the importance of quality social engagement to encourage connection and a sense of belonging during emerging adulthood that supports this vulnerable time. Meaning-making is a positive post-trauma outcome experienced after adversity. Little is known about whether meaning-making is predicted by friendships in emerging adulthood. The purpose of the study is to determine whether quality friendships during emerging adulthood predict the two variables of meaning-making—new possibilities and personal strengths—above and beyond other attachment figures. Using hierarchical multiple regression, we evaluated the relationships between trauma exposure and various relationship structures on the development of meaning-making in a sample of 202 college students. Results supported the role of dependable, close friendship to promote the trajectory toward meaning-making in emerging adulthood.

You do not currently have access to this content.