Communication in social networks: Effects of kinship, network size, and emotional closeness
Communication is important in preventing social relationships from decaying over time. This study examined the effects of social network size, emotional closeness, and type of relationship (kinship vs. friendship) on communication patterns in the social networks of 251 women. Participants with large kin networks had longer times to last contact to both kin and friends. Participants with high levels of emotional closeness in their networks had shorter times to last contact. The effect of emotional closeness on time to last contact was greater for kin than for friends. These results demonstrate that time to last contact is closely tied to emotional closeness and suggest that the costs of maintaining kin relationships are lower than the costs of maintaining friendships.