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International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family | 2003 |

Friendship is a relationship in which the partners respond to one another with an individualized interest and concern and commit time to one another in the absence of constraints toward interaction that are external to the relationship itself. The more these two factors are in evidence, the stronger the friendship.Friendship is a matter of degree rather than an all-or-none proposition.

Benefits of Friendship Instrumental rewards involve receiving tangible resources such as goods or money, and obtaining assistance in completing tasks or reaching goals. Expressive rewards involve receiving emotional support, encouragement, and personal advice from an understanding confidant

and Voluntariness and Contextual Factors in Friendship

Voluntariness does not mean that a person has either the freedom or possibility of becoming friends with virtually anyone they might choose. Their choises are affected by contextual factors, in other words, personal, circumstantial, societal, and cultural influences that can be facilitative, limiting, or some of each.

Via Katerina Dimitriou