They shared a passion for hard rock, played the same sports and had the "same quirky sense of humor," said Laurie Gray, an attorney in Fort Wayne, Ind.
She was referring to her middle-school friend, Beth King Shaw, a teacher in Lafayette, Ind. So it's no wonder the women, now 51, are still friends.
Sharing similar traits is one of the top reasons middle-school friendships survive, according to a Florida Atlantic University study of adolescent friendship that looked at relationships over six years among middle and high school students in Manchester, Conn.
Adolescents are more likely to remain friends if they are the same gender; that result did not surprise...