We examined the interplay between friendship (best friend) and antipathy (dislike) relationships among adolescents (N = 480;
11-14 years) in two US middle schools over three years (grades 6, 7, and 8). Using longitudinal multivariate network analysis
(RSiena), the effects of friendships on antipathies and vice versa were tested, while structural network effects (e.g., density,
reciprocity, and transitivity) and individual (age, gender, and ethnicity) and behavioral (prosocial and antisocial behavior)
dispositions were controlled for. Based on (structural) balance theory, it was expected that friendships would be formed or
maintained when two adolescents disliked the same person (shared enemy hypothesis), that friends would tend to agree on whom
they disliked (friends’ agreement hypothesis), that adolescents would tend to dislike the friends of those they disliked (reinforced
animosity hypothesis), and, finally, that they would become or stay friends with dislikes of dislikes (enemy's enemy hypothesis).
Support was found for the first three hypotheses, and partially for the fourth hypothesis. Results are discussed in light
of adolescents’ peer relationships.
Friendship; Antipathy; Rejection; Adolescence; Balance theory