Evolution of sociology freshmen into a friendship network

Marijtje A.J. van Duijn, Evelien P.H. Zeggelink, Mark Huisman, Frans N. Stokman, Frans W. Wasseur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we both describe and analyze the meeting process and the evolution of a friendship network among sociology freshmen in the Netherlands. We develop a theory that explains how changes in the network structure depend on one or more of four main effects: proximity, visible similarity, invisible similarity, and network opportunity. We formulate expectations with regard to what factors are important at what stages of the friendship development, making a distinction between 'meeting' and 'mating.' To some extent, the results confirm our expectations. The proximity and visible similarity variables determine change in network structure in the early stages, whereas network opportunity is important during all stages. Unfortunately, no significant effects of invisible similarity are found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-191
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Mathematical Sociology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • evolution
  • meeting
  • friendship
  • longitudinal networks
  • similarity

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