This 4-year longitudinal study examined over-time associations between adolescents' educational identity, perceived best friends' balanced relatedness, and best friends' educational identity. Adolescents (N = 464, Mage = 14.0 years at baseline, 56.0% males, living in the Netherlands) and their self-nominated best friends reported on their educational commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration. Target adolescents also reported on the level of balanced relatedness provided by their best friend. Cross-lagged panel models showed that balanced relatedness significantly predicted adolescents' reconsideration, and was predicted by in-depth exploration and, in an inconsistent pattern, by commitment. Best friends' educational identity did not positively predict adolescents' educational identity. Perceiving a best friend as high on balanced relatedness seems to reduce adolescents' problematic educational reconsideration, while, in turn, adaptive educational identity processes might foster balanced relatedness.
- Balanced relatedness
- Educational identity