Frequent and/or Durable? The Predictive Impact of Initial Face-to-Face Contacts on the Formation and Evolution of Students’ Developmental Peer Network Relationships
Despite the relevance of relationships to others acting towards advancing a person’s career for individual career development, there is little research on how developmental relationships emerge and evolve over time. This two-year longitudinal study analyses the predictive impact of frequency and duration of initial face-to-face social interaction among newcomer students measured via RFID technology. Results from stochastic actor-oriented models suggest that the more frequent and durable initial contacts were at the first encounter, the more likely actors will create a developmental relationship, supporting prox-imity and mere-exposure-effect theory. Moreover, they show long-term effect tendencies of initial contacts’ frequency on the network’s evolution.