A new study by the researchers from the University of Virginia finds that types of friendships formed during teenage years can influence mental health in adulthood. People with a few but high-quality best friendships are happier in their mid-20s than those who were popular among their peers.
A team of scientists examined 169 adolescents, racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse, over a period of 10 years (from 15 to 25 years old). Every year they checked the quality of the participants’ friendships and their mental health.
Having analyzed the received results, the researchers concluded that participants with few best friends had lower social anxiety, increased sense of self-worth, and fewer symptoms of depression. Those who were considered more popular by their peers showed higher levels of social anxiety in adulthood.