Examining context shifts’ effect on relationship trajectories in friendships using Turning Point Theory

Jess Dominguez, Jeffrey A. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Drawing from Turning Point Theory, this study explores whether context shifts, which are changes in the location where a friendship is enacted, affect relationship trajectories and friendship closeness. Study 1A (N = 120) experimentally manipulated invitations for context shifts in college friendships to test their effects on perceived relationship trajectory, social attraction, and closeness. Study 1B (N = 112) replicated the results of Study 1A with working adults. Both studies’ results suggest that context-variable shifts lead to a change in perceived relationship trajectory but did not influence social attraction or closeness. In Study 2, first-year students (N = 98) reported on turning points in their friendships twice over 9 weeks. Friendships reporting context-variable shifts as a turning point were associated with higher friendship closeness than relationships that had no turning points and similar closeness as friendships that reported self-disclosure as a turning point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1892-1909
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Context shifts
  • Turning Point Theory
  • experiment
  • friendship
  • relationship trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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