Friendships in Adolescence Pave Way for Better Health in Adulthood
Jim LiebeltJim Liebelt's Blog
- 2015 Sep 07
*The following is excerpted from an online article from The Independent.
A new study has linked good quality adolescent friendships to a healthy adult life.
Published in Psychological Science, the study concluded that physical health in adults can be based upon "the quality of close friendships in adolescence".
Additionally, despite teenagers often being warned of the perils of peer pressure, the report suggests "conforming to peer norms" in adolescence is also linked to better health.
A group of 171 students were observed in the study, their self-nominated best friends then filled out questionnaires about the friendship at several times between the ages of 13 to 17.
The participants health was measured at ages 25, 26 and 27, as well as general health, anxiety, depression and BMI were among other factors to be measured.
Results determined that both good quality friendships and a desire to fit in with peers during the teenage years were associated with better health at age 27. The authors noted decreased levels of anxiety and depression in those who had quality friendships, when younger.
Author Joseph P. Allen, a researcher at the University of Virginia said: "These results indicate that remaining close to — as opposed to separating oneself – from the peer pack in adolescence has long-term implications for adult physical health."
"From a risk and prevention perspective, difficulty forming close relationships early in adolescence may now be considered a marker of risk for long-term health difficulties."