The benefits of friendship | MSUToday

Teens who have a larger number of friends may be less likely to suffer from depression later in life, especially women, a new MSU research study has found.

For female adolescents, popularity can lead to increased depression during the teen years, but can provide lasting benefits of fewer depressive symptoms later in life. Teens who reported fewer friends show higher rates of depression in adulthood, found Molly Copeland (pictured left), assistant professor of sociology, who co- authored the article “The Long Arm of Social Integration: Gender, Adolescent Social Networks, and Adult Depressive Symptom Trajectories” with lead author Christina Kamis, a sociology doctoral candidate at Duke University. It was published Sept. 14 in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

“Adolescence (is) a sensitive period of early life when structural facets of social relationships can have lasting mental health consequences,” wrote Copeland.

Overall, the study found for both men and women,

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