Whoever coined the term “Day Ones” was on to something. Having a solid crew to help you navigate those awkward stages as a tween and through puberty apparently benefits your health in adulthood. The findings of a study published in Psychological Science, found that boys who spent more time with friends during childhood had lowerblood pressure and body mass index during their early 30’s.
The Pittsburgh Youth Study, which was conducted over a span of 10 years followed boys from the age of six until they were 16. The participants’ parents reported how much time their children spent with friends during an average week. The data examined from 267 boys—56% Black, 41% white—showed that the youngsters who spent more time with their friends during childhood and adolescence had healthier blood pressure and BMI at age 32. Black and white participants showed similar patterns of findings over time. The study also included data on individual characteristics that may affect their health such as socioeconomic status, family factors, and child’s personal health. Co-authors of the study Karen Matthews and Jenny Cundiff note that broadening measures for future research could shine more light on the link between early peer relationships with physical health decades later.
Arielle Neblett is a freelancer for CASSIUS.