According to a new study, mental health problems do not necessarily ruin the chances of making and maintaining valuable friendships.
Adolescents with similar levels of mental health problems as anxiety and depression They are more likely to remain friends, but differences can create incidence instability, according to a new study.
"An important conclusion of our study is that children's personal struggles should not have a negative impact on their social relationships," said Brett Laursen, a professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
"Mental health problems do not necessarily ruin the chances of making and maintaining valuable friendships," he added.
Young people who resembled each other were more likely to remain friends from one year to the next.
"The similarity of behavior is tremendously important for a friendship. The shared feelings and shared experiences are the glue that unites a friendship, "said Laursen.
For the study, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, the team included 397 adolescents (194 boys and 203 girls) in 499 same-sex friendships, followed from the seventh grade (median of age 13) to the end of high school in grade 12.
They examined the degree to which the symptoms of internalization (anxiety, depression, social isolation and submission) predicted the dissolution of adolescent friendships.
In most aspects, boys and girls did not differ in the factors that predicted the instability of friendship.
However, a notable exception was that the differences in submission increased the instability of the friendship among the children, but decreased the instability of friendship among the girls.
"Compared to girls, children are more competitive and confrontational in interactions with friends, suggesting that dissimilarity in submission may be a responsibility when it comes to activities that many prefer, such as sports and games" said Laursen.
"Compared with boys, girls tend to favor prolonged dyadic exchanges, so they can respond to submissive behavior with support and empathy, which can strengthen friendship ties," he said.
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Reference: https://www.thehealthsite.com/news/teenagers-with-similar-mental-health-issues-are-more-likely-to-remain-friends-finds-study-ag0818/, by agencies