Texas Tech University

Childhood Friendships May Provide Health Benefits In Adulthood, Study Suggests


April 2, 2018

Inquisitr - Time spent with best buddies in childhood may offer some health benefits that can carry over into adulthood, according to a new study whose findings were published in the journal Psychological Science. The study found that the boys who spent enough time with their best buddies in childhood tended to have healthy body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) in their early 30s.

In the new study, Jenny M. Cundiff, a psychological scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and Karen A. Matthews, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, decided to investigate whether the link between friendship and health is evident much earlier in life. According to the Association for Psychological Science, the two researchers analyzed the data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study, a longitudinal study that monitored the social lives of a group of boys between the ages of 6 and 16. In total, data of 267 boys were analyzed. Of them, about 56 percent were black and 41 percent were white. The parents of the participants informed researchers about the amount of time their children spent with close friends in their childhood and teenage years. Researchers analyzed the participants' personality traits, such as sociability, introversion, and hostility, as well as their general health, family, and environmental factors, etc., in their childhood and adulthood.

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