Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department




Faculty Mentor Department


Faculty Mentor

Kaetlyn Cordingley

Faculty Reader(s)

Kaetlyn Cordingley


friendship, connectedness, COVID-19, college students

Subject Categories

Social Psychology


Friendship formation has been studied in a variety of contexts, notably among adolescents and young adults. Friendships can influence a range of aspects of a person’s life. Proximity is believed to be a key factor in friendship formation. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many school systems were required to switch to online platforms and practice social distancing. The current study analyzed college students’ feelings of connectedness to friends made before college and friends made during college, and whether those who entered college during the height of the pandemic in 2020 experienced lower friendship quality outcomes. An online survey was distributed to college students, mainly on the University of Montana campus. The survey asked students to fill out a friendship quality measurement for their closest friend made during college and for their closest childhood or high school friend. The results indicate that college students who entered college in 2020 were not significantly closer to friends made before college compared to those who entered college before or after 2020. However, the overall sample indicated that college students felt significantly more connected to their college friends than their childhood or high school friends. Further research is needed to understand why students may feel more closely connected to their college friends.

Keywords: friendship, connectedness, COVID-19, college students

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




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