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Teen friends with similar mental health issues last longer, finds study

According to a study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence behavioural similarity is tremendously important to a friendship.

Friendships formed in teenage last for a lifetime. These were believed to be friendships that were formed on the basis of similarities. Now, a new study now says that teenagers with similar levels of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are more likely to remain friends, but dissimilarities can create incidence instability.

According to a study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence behavioural similarity is tremendously important to a friendship. "An important takeaway from our study is that children's personal struggles need not adversely impact their social relationships," said Brett Laursen, Professor at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU). "Behavioural similarity is tremendously important to a friendship. Shared feelings and shared experiences are the glue that holds a friendship together," he added.

For the study, the team 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.

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They examined the degree to which internalising symptoms anxiety, depression, social withdrawal and submissiveness predicted the dissolution of teenage friendships.In most respects, boys and girls did not differ in the factors that predicted friendship instability.

But apart from this here are 3 things that are very important for making friends:

  1. Similar family backgrounds.
  2. Likes and dislikes.
  3. Hatred towards someone or affection towards someone.

Having said this, we now know that friendships are very important. Friendships grow with time, however they need to be taught right in childhood. Here are ways you can help your kid in making friends.

3 ways you can help your child make friends:

  1. Teach them to say 'hello': This is one of the most important things that you'd do as a parent. It is important to teach your kids to greet each other. They'll pick this up from you. Your gesture, interest in greeting and body language is what your baby shall copy-so make sure it's genuine.
  2. Learn to appreciate friendships: Your kids will learn from you, so make sure you set a good example. Never bitch or bad mouth your friends in front of them. Talk about how your friends have helped you. Also, focus on how important it is to make or have new friends.
  3. Let them play in the open: Let your children play in the open, without having you constantly around. They shouldn't feel that you are watching them. Moreover, make sure that you never interfere in children's fight. Don't become the hysterical parent who comes to rescue the child after every friendly fight.

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