Oct 30

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New Research Shows How Having a Close Friend Affects Depression


New Research Shows How Having a Close Friend Affects Depression

New Research Shows How Having a Close Friend Affects Depression

If you have a close friend, it can make a big difference on the risk of developing depression. Your relationships and connections have an impact on mental health. This is what a recent study from the journal Child Development has found.

New Research Results on Friendships and Depression

The study focused on teenagers, but the results may extend to other age groups. Researchers found that teenagers between the ages of 15 and 16 benefited from having a close friend. They had lower rates of depression and higher self-esteem. It appears that the size of a teen’s social group does not matter because simply having one close friend may be enough. 

Why One Friend Matters

Researchers were surprised to see that having larger groups of friends was not as important. They found that having one close friend may have a bigger impact on mental health than a big group of acquaintances. The quality of the relationship matters the most. Being able to confide in a close friend is more important than being popular for some teens.

Superficial Is Not Enough

Superficial friendships are often easy to form, but they do not provide lasting value or help to people who may be at risk of depression. As depression continues to increase among teens, it is becoming even more important for them to focus on forming close friendships. Technology makes it easy to connect with thousands of people online, but these superficial relationships do not provide the substance of a close friendship in real life.

Parents should encourage their kids to form real friendships that can last. Instead of focusing on the quantity of friends, they should learn to value the quality and treasure it.

Parents can also model this behavior by setting an example and focusing on their own friendships instead of growing social media networks.  

In this world of superficial friendships, how do you work on having close friends?


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