Instrument Development

Best Friend Index (BFI)

Friendships are a source of love and affection and give a sense of belonging. They are typically characterized by closeness, love and trust (Hruschka, 2010). The older one gets, the more complex the friendships tend to become (De Goede et al., 2009). Being a dynamic relationship, friendship can be seen more as a balance between the good and bad traits and behaviors one may possess.

Quick Overview

  • BFI is made for children (varied, simple, short questions)
  • aims to assess friendship quality, with the balance between positive (PFQ) and negative (NFQ) friendship qualities in mind. PFQs include companionship, reliable alliance, disclosure and support, while NFQs include jealousy, dominance and competition, among others
  • 18 items
  • item response format: 5-point scale (1 = Never, 5 = Very Often)
  • The positive qualities are taken from the Network Relationship Inventory (NRI; Furman & Buhrmester, 1985; Selfhout, Branje, & Meeus, 2008) and negative features from the Friendship Quality Questionnaire (FQQ; Parker & Asher, 1993).

Publications about the BFI

Original BFI: Kouwenberg, M., Rieffe, C., & Banerjee R. (2013). A short and balanced Best Friend Index for children and adolescents. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10, 634-641.

Application of BFI: O’Connor, R., Blijd-Hoogewys, E., Stockmann, L., Van den Bedem, N. P., & Rieffe, C. (in press). Friendship quality among autistic and non-autistic (pre-)adolescents: Protective or risk factor for mental health? Autism.

Download BFI pdfs here: 

Best Friend Index [English]

Please note that we currently do not have norm scores or cut-off scores for our questionnaires. For more info please refer to our FAQs.