In Teen Friendships, Misery Does Love Company

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on ScienceDaily.

A new study on adolescent friendships offers support for the belief that misery really does love company. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University and collaborators examined the degree to which internalizing symptoms — anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, and submissiveness — predicted the dissolution of teen friendships.

The study, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, included 397 adolescents (194 boys, 203 girls) in 499 same-sex friendships, who were followed from grade seven (median age 13), through to the end of high school in grade 12. The students were living in Connecticut at the time of the study. Discrete-time survival analyses were conducted with grade seven peer, teacher, and self-reports of internalizing symptoms as predictors of the timing of friendship dissolution.

Results found no evidence that individual internalizing symptoms predicted friendship dissolution, even at extreme or clinical levels.

“An important takeaway from our study is that children’s personal struggles need not adversely impact their social relationships,” said Laursen. “Mental health issues do not necessarily ruin chances of making and maintaining worthwhile friendships.”

Instead, the results indicated that the more friends differed on anxiety symptoms and depressive symptoms, the greater the incidence of friendship instability. Therefore, youth who resembled one another were more likely to remain friends from one year to the next.

“Behavioral similarity is tremendously important to a friendship,” said Laursen. “Shared feelings and shared experiences are the glue that holds a friendship together.”

In most respects, boys and girls did not differ in the factors that predicted friendship instability. There was one notable exception: differences on submissiveness increased friendship instability for boys, but decreased friendship instability for girls.

Source: ScienceDaily
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180820094328.htm

Help us reach the next generation of families

Donate
Back to Top
[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA
      92693

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)

Close