Cross-cultural Research on the Predictors of Young Women’s Same-Sex Friendship Quality in the Context of Muslims in the UK and Pakistan

  • Nargis Khan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Friendships are important social relationships in all developmental stages and societies. The growing body of research in this area has generally focused on the outcomes related to friendships quality. However, despite various beneficial effects of friendship quality, research on its predictors are under-researched, particularly in the non-Western contexts. Thus, the current research aimed to explore the level of self-disclosure and parenting styles of mothers and fathers as predictors of young women’s same-sex friendship quality in the minority and
majority Muslim contexts in the UK and Pakistan respectively. A sequential explanatory, mixed-methods research design was employed to understand the current area under investigation. First, a quantitative study based on a sample of young women was conducted to examine the level of self-disclosure and mothers and fathers’ parenting styles as predictors of friendship quality in the minority context of Muslims in the UK. Data was analysed using regression analysis and the results indicated that the authoritative parenting style of mothers and the level of self-disclosure were the only significant predictors of friendship quality. Study 2 was formed to replicate Study 1 in a sample of young women in the majority context of Muslims in Pakistan, which controlled for the Western influence and the diverse nature of Muslims in the UK. Regression analysis showed that the mother’s authoritativeness was the only significant predictor of young women’s friendship quality in the majority context of Muslims. The findings of the two quantitative studies indicated an inconsistent pattern of results in relation to theoretical and previous empirical research. Therefore, it was prudent to further explore this area with a qualitative research method. A focus group study (Study 3) based on a sample of young Muslim women in the UK was designed with a twofold purpose. Firstly, to gain an in-depth understanding of mothers and fathers’ influence on their children’s
friendships and secondly, to develop a further understanding of the parenting styles construct adopted in the two quantitative studies. Thematic analysis indicated a number of themes in relation to the parenting of mothers and fathers. Implications of the findings and further recommendations for research are discussed.
Date of AwardFeb 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorClaire Campbell (Supervisor) & Liz Simpson (Supervisor)

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