Intimate Friendship in The Secret Garden

Main Article Content

Nattapat Pattana


This qualitative research is an integration of literature analysis and psychological knowledge of interpersonal relationship. A classic children’s novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett named The Secret Garden was purposively selected to be the data source. The objectives of this study were to examine the friendship between two children characters namely Mary Lennox and Colin Craven, and to explore the variables of intimate friendship shown by the two main children characters in The Secret Garden. The concept of intimate friendship especially in intimate friendship variables introduced by Sharabany (1974) were relied on as the framework of the analysis. Those eight variables included frankness and spontaneity, knowing and sensitivity, attachment, exclusiveness and privacy, giving and helping, taking and imposing, common activities, and trust and loyalty. The results showed that the intimate friendship between the two studied characters was very close and this interpersonal relationship transforms both children into a desirable way. Moreover, all of the intimacy variables in the framework could be found from the narrative of their actions and conversational dialogues. Of the eight variables, three variables showing high degree of intimate friendship were common activities, attachment, exclusiveness and privacy. It was also found that there were some factors boosting this interpersonal relationship. Those factors included parenting style, their age, and their needs. This study confirms the importance of friendship and roles of parents in developing children’s mental strength and desirable behaviors.

Article Details

How to Cite
Pattana, N. (2021). Intimate Friendship in The Secret Garden. Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-Ok Social Science Journal, 10(1), 1–11. Retrieved from
Research Article


Allgood, S. F. (2008). The intimate friendship scale: factors and association with drinking patterns among college aged friends. Master Thesis, Psychology, Faculty of Graduate School, The University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Baumrind, D. (1971). Current patterns of parental authority. Developmental Psychology Monograph, 4, 1–103.

Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescence competence an substance use. Journal of Adolescence, 23(2), 205-222. Doi:10.1003/jado.2000.0308.

Bagwell., C L. & Schmidt, M E. (2011). Friendships in childhood and adolescence. New York : Guilford Press.

Berndt, T. J. (1992). Friendship and friends’ influence in adolescence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1(5), 156-159. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.ep11510326

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101.

Bressler, C. E. (2003). Literary criticism: an introduction to theory and practice. New Jersey : Upper Saddle River.

Burnett, F. H. (1993). The Secret Garden. Hertfordshire : Wordsworth Editions Limited.

Crowley, K. (2014). Child development: A practical introduction. London : Sage Publications Ltd.

Grime, R. L. (2005). Social perspective-taking, intimate friendship, and the adolescent transition to mutualistic moral judgement. Doctoral Thesis, Psychology, Faculty of Graduate School, The Ohio State University. Retrieved from Cornell University.

Maccoby, E. (2000). Parenting and Its Effects on Children: on Reading and Misreading Behavior Genetics. Annual reviews. 2000. 51: 1–27

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A child’s world: Infancy through adolescence. (13th ed.). New York : McGraw Hill Education.

Pattana, N. (2020). A reflection of parenting styles and impacts on behaviors of children in The Joy Luck Club. Academic Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Burapha University, 28(30), 44-66.

Rawlins, W. K. (2009). The compass of friendship : Narratives, identities, and dialogues. Los Angeles, California : Sage Publications.

Rizka, S. M. & Bacotang, J. B. (2018). The relationship between parenting styles and children’s social skills. In proceedings of the International Conference on the Roles of Parents in Shaping Children’s Characters (ICECED), 258-262. Anjong Mon Mata, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Sharabany, R. (1974). Intimate friendship among kibbutz and city children and its measurement. Doctoral Thesis, Psychology, Faculty of Graduate School, Cornell University. Retrieved from

Snir, S., Gavron, T., Maor, Y., Haim, N. & Sharabany, R. (2020). Friends’ closeness and intimacy from adolescence to adulthood: art captures implicit relational representations in joint drawing: a longitudinal study. Front. Psychol., 22 October 2020.

Steinbach, S. 2019. Victorian era. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March 18, 2021, from