Monday March 18, 2019

Mental Health Issues Are Not Likely to Ruin Teenagers’ Friendships, Says Study

Compared to boys, girls tend to favour extended dyadic exchanges, and so they may respond to submissive behaviour with support and empathy, which may strengthen friendship ties

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People Around You Influence Your Body Image . Pixabay

Teenagers with similar levels of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are more likely to remain friends, but dissimilarites can create incidence instability, a new study has found.

“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).

“Mental health issues do not necessarily ruin chances of making and maintaining worthwhile friendships,” he added.

Youth who resembled one another were more likely to remain friends from one year to the next.

“Behavioural similarity is tremendously important to a friendship. Shared feelings and shared experiences are the glue that holds a friendship together,” Laursen said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, 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.

Teenagers
Youth who resembled one another were more likely to remain friends from one year to the next. Pixabay

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.

However, one notable exception was — differences on submissiveness increased friendship instability for boys, but decreased friendship instability for girls.

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“Compared with girls, boys are more competitive and confrontational in interactions with friends, suggesting that dissimilarity on submissiveness may be a liability when it comes to the activities that many boys prefer such as sports and games,” Laursen said.

“Compared to boys, girls tend to favour extended dyadic exchanges, and so they may respond to submissive behaviour with support and empathy, which may strengthen friendship ties,” he noted. (IANS)

Next Story

FDA Proposes to Curb Sales of Flavoured E-cigarettes to Teenagers

The health regulator also proposed pre-market applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by August 8, 2021

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e-cigarette, vaping
In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that's sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed to curb sales of flavoured e-cigarettes to teenagers.

The health regulator on Wednesday said that it is proposing to end all flavoured electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products such as electronic cigarettes, except tobacco, mint and menthol-flavoured products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 3.6 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes last year.

“Evidence shows that youth are especially attracted to flavoured e-cigarette products, and that minors are able to access these products from both brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as online, despite federal restrictions on sales to anyone under 18,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement.

“With these concerns in mind, today, we’re advancing our policies aimed at preventing youth access to, and appeal of, flavoured e-cigarettes and cigars.”

E-cigarettes, Smokers
Talia Eisenberg, co-founder of the Henley Vaporium, uses her vaping device in New York, Feb. 20, 2014. VOA

The new proposed policy also subjects all manufacturers and retailers to FDA enforcement for selling certain flavoured ENDS products without authorisation.

The FDA had previously threatened to ban most flavoured e-cigarettes in 2017 but did not take any enforcement moves.

However, with the new policy, FDA intends to prioritise its enforcement to focus on protecting youth from becoming addicted to nicotine.

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It believes, at the same time, “that ENDS products still hold promise to help transition currently addicted adult smokers to potentially less harmful sources of nicotine”, Gottlieb said.

The health regulator also proposed pre-market applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by August 8, 2021. (IANS)