STATES CHRONICLE – A recent research brings great news for those teens who had a few close friendships during high school. Such friendships are good for the future mental health of these children as adults, and are definitely better than having many friends and being popular.
In other words, it’s the quality of the friendships that matters, not the quantity. If you have only a few close friendships, they are more likely to last over time and to be nurturing for your mind and soul than having more shallower friendships. This has a great influence on the teenagers’ mental and emotional health in young adulthood.
Close friendships preserve your mental health
Researchers discovered how those high schoolers who had only a few close friendships grew up into healthier adults in terms of mental state, and they improved their condition over time. On the other hand, those popular kids with many friends were more likely to develop social anxiety.
For the study, researchers followed 169 teenagers and young adults for 10 years. The participants ranged from 15 to 25 years of age, and their family income was placed between $40,000 and $60,000. About 60 percent of them were white, 29 percent were black, and the remaining belonged to other ethnic groups.
Popular teens were more likely to suffer from social anxiety
Every year, researchers questioned the participants regarding the friendships they had during high school, and about any possible symptoms of anxiety and depression they could have. Also, those who had close friendships had their friends talk about them in front of the researchers.
The results showed better-quality friendships turned out better for the teenagers. Those who were more likely to have only a few close friends at 15 didn’t show too many symptoms of depression at 25, had no social anxiety, and scored better in terms of self-esteem. Popular teens seemed to grow up more socially anxious than others.
Therefore, there’s no need to worry if you haven’t been among the cool kids in high school. Your close friendships value more than that, and bring you long-term benefits for your mental health and emotional well-being. All these results have been published in the journal Child Development.
Image Source: Max Pixel