Having a best friend in your teens can benefit your life.
David Thomas and I met when we were about five years old. We celebrated his 26th birthday last weekend, marking about twenty years of friendship. Once, while walking down the street, a man looked at us and said, “Harold and kumar, aren’t they?” He could almost certainly explain our race, but perhaps he too saw our relationship. Because David is my oldest and closest friend, it’s more appropriate.
David is a medical doctor. Now I’m a student. I’m a science reporter. We’ve all read about the effects of friendships on mental health, and research published Monday in child development seems to be particularly relevant. Studies have shown that bonds from teenagers can play a huge role in one’s mental health for many years.
Emory university of Oxford college psychologist Catherine t-bag (Catherine Bagwell) said: “these findings provide us with very good evidence, proof youth the importance of friendship, is not only a short-term, and adulthood.” “We don’t have a lot of strong, rigorous findings.”
The researchers followed 169 people for 10 years at the age of 15. At age 15 and 16, participants were asked to conduct one-on-one interviews with their closest friends and researchers.
PhD student at the university of Virginia psychology, psychology doctoral student Rachel Narr said: “they asked, how much trust between them, how good communication, how distant they felt in the relationship. Each year, the original participants were also surveyed to assess levels of anxiety, depression and self-worth.
Narr said that when she looked at the early video study of teenagers, seeking advice or support from the best friends, or talking through disagreements, it was easy to determine which relationships were strong. “These teenagers tend to be open to each other and talk about problems,” she said. “they help each other more, help each other, and connect with others.
Studies have found that these strong relationships are beneficial in adulthood. When the researchers evaluated participants at the end of the study, those with close emotional connections showed signs of anxiety, depression and improved self-worth. In other words, they reported lower levels of depression and anxiety at the age of 15 and 16, and less self-worth.
“What surprised me was what they were doing,” Narr said. While the researchers believe that the decline in depressive symptoms is far greater than friendship, they believe strong relationships play a significant role.
Those with more stable relationships — at the age of 15 and at the age of 16 — brought their best friends to the study – and seemed to do the best, nale said. Participants who showed the same intimate relationship with their friends did not show significant changes in depression and anxiety symptoms or self-worth during the study decade.
Narr and her colleagues also looked at whether the participants’ popularity or popularity at the age of 15 or 16 was associated with declines in depression and increased self-worth. But the researchers only saw the relationship.
It’s hard to know exactly what happened, but Bagwell says psychologists have some good ideas. One is firm support as a buffer against insulting your self-worth or depression. Narr adds that this can be particularly beneficial in adolescence, because peer feedback is extra serious.
These friendships can also help people develop their emotions. Teens’ relationships may help people learn social and emotional skills that are good for them, says Brett Laursen, a psychologist at Florida Atlantic University. But, like bagwell, he quickly pointed out that science had no clear mechanism for warning.
“This is mostly pure speculation,” he said. “Wave.” Lawson found in his own work that those with teenage friendships were happier when they were nearly 50, compared to teenagers who had no friends.
Bagwell has put forward the time element. She said it was the first time teens had a deep relationship with their peers. “This is the kind of relationship that [teenagers] are developing.” This is the first time that people have the opportunity to learn how to trust others, and to use these skills to build closer and more stable relationships in life.
T-bag says: “the friendship is the foundation of support and positive romantic relationships, and points out the relationship between the other – such as after close friendships or romantic partner – can achieve the same purpose. “It doesn’t mean that people who don’t have close friendships in adolescence are doomed to failure.”
I know that I would not be the same person without the vision of David in my life for 20 years. Our friendship made new sense when we were teenagers, and my father moved to Singapore. It was the beginning of our first year in high school, and I ended up living alone in my parents’ home — except where David was, he often did.
That year, David helped me do almost everything, and we hadn’t figured out how to take care of ourselves. We learned to cook together. He helped me clean the house. He picked me up before he got my driver’s license without a car. It’s a lot of everyday stuff, but it helps me survive.
Over the years, we’ve also helped each other with bigger things: mobile and breakups and mental health crises. David was the first to listen to me without judgment, or to criticize my criticism without any frustration.
Last weekend we talked about Narr learning and we saw ourselves. Yes, as Lawson puts it, the best friendships change a person’s mental health mechanism may be hazy – “wave hello”. But the study found that the presence of a good friend is important, which makes sense to us.
David told me: “I can think of so many things just to keep you around. In retrospect, he later said, “it’s important to know you’re going to be my friend.”