This article presents quantitative and qualitative accounts of relational discourses in a random sample of approximately 4100 texts written by Irish young people (aged 10-12 and 14-17 years). The existence of such discourses is indicated by references to family and friends. The article shows that although the majority refer to such ties in their texts, less than one-third mention best friends. It also shows that references to such relational discourses were affected by age and gender. A continuum of relatedness can be identified: with 10-to 12-year-old girls at one end of the continuum and 14- to 17-year-old boys at the other end. The implications of such trends are briefly discussed.