A new UK study has highlighted the importance of friendships in helping people get through the more stressful periods of life.
Carried out by Dr Rebecca Graber from the University of Brighton during her time at the University of Leeds, the preliminary study is the first to provide long-term statistical evidence on the huge benefit of friends, and in particular best friends, on coping with and developing resilience to stress.
The study included 185 adults, with 75 completing the study’s questionnaires and assessments on psychological resilience, best friendship quality, coping behaviors and self-esteem.
Participants then completed the same assessments again one year later, to see how the quality of best friend relationships had affected resilience to stress during this period.
The results showed that best friendships had a protective effect against stress, helping to develop psychological resilience in adults, although how still remains unclear.
The findings also support research published last year by Dr Graber, which found that best friendships can help develop resilience to stress in socioeconomically vulnerable children.