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Measuring Tie Strength

Peter V. Marsden and Karen E. Campbell
Social Forces
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Dec., 1984), pp. 482-501
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579058
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579058
Page Count: 20
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Measuring Tie Strength
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Abstract

Little attention has been given to the measurement of the concept of tie strength. Using survey data on friendship ties, we apply multiple indicator techniques to construct and validate measures of tie strength. We conclude that: (1) there may be two distinct aspects of tie strength, having to do with the time spent in a relationship and the depth of the relationship; (2) a measure of "closeness" or intensity is the best indicator of strength; (3) there are difficulties with frequency and duration of contact as indicators of strength; (4) predictors of strength (e.g., kinship, neighboring) are not especially strongly related to the concept; and (5) the constructed measures of strength, particularly the one of "time spent," are valid in that they are related to predictor variables in anticipated directions.

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