Childhood Friendships Can Be Beneficial For Your Health. Here's How
According to recent study, childhood friendships can provide many health benefits during adulthood.
Childhood friendships play an important role in our life
- Childhood friendship can provide health benefits in the long run
- A study showed that childhood friendships can improve BMI of boys
- Childhood friendships can help in building self-esteem
Childhood friendships are something we savour all our life. They are bonds that we created at a time when we had very less knowledge about worldly pleasures and the nitty-gritties of the modern society. In that age of innocence, finding a friendship which is unconditional in all aspects is the most prized possession. And while childhood friendships have a very special and close place in our heart, they can be beneficial for our health in the long run as well.
According to recent study, childhood friendships can provide many health benefits during adulthood. The multi-decade study says that boys who spend a lot of time with their friends in childhood tended to have lower blood pressure and lower body mass index in their early 30s.
According to psychological scientist Jenny Cundiff of Texas Tech University, our social lives during our childhood might have a protective influence on physical health as we grow up. Apart from our caretakers and circumstances at the financial level, our social circle plays a role in our overall health, said Cundiff, as reported by ANI.
He adds that the study wasn't an experiment, but a well-controlled longitudinal study which was conducted in a group which comprised a diverse variety of races. This is the reason that the study is a strong and well-established proof of the fact that having a good social circle in early life is good for our health in the long run. This positive impact on our health is irrespective of other factors such as weight during childhood, our personality and our family's social status.
Also read: Why is my son having persistent fever?
A number of studies conducted previously have found a connection between an adult's social well-being and their health outcomes. One's social well-being includes factors such as close relationships and sources of social support. Our health related outcomes include blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
The study revealed that boys who spent more time with friends during childhood had good blood pressure and body mass index at the age of 32.
Also read: Sibling Bullying Could Increase Risk Of Psychotic Disorders
Agrees clinical psychologist Dr Ripan Sippy, who says that childhood friendships are really very helpful for people in the long run. "Childhood friendships provide the support system for a person which is essential for emotional growth. Friends tend to agree on most of the things they feel and believe in. This helps people get a validation of their views and opinions and it helps in increases their self-esteem," he says.
Dr Ripan says that childhood friendships provide a person with companionship which is very much required by all of us. "Having a childhood friend takes away all the loneliness from our life. A person is able to acquire more social skills and become better at socialisation and communication. At times, friendships help people cover up the communication gaps which a person faces with elders."
Also read: Is sleepwalking a disorder?
Children are usually unable to communicate effectively with their parents and elders in the house. "Personal problems, anything related to a person of the opposite sex, a problem they are facing with their teachers in school are some concerns which children find difficult to communicate. Having childhood friends enables children to share their hearts out freely because even they are all facing the same problems. It helps them vent out their emotional problems in a far better manner," he explains.
Also read: How to deal with a child suffering from ADHD?
Children usually tend to have common set of problems and the same kind of likes and dislikes. This is because they are of the same growing age. They are able to relate better with each other and are able to see the pros and cons of things. What is harmful for person might end up being an aspect of learning for the other person.
"Childhood friendships provide a great support in a person's life," says Dr Ripan.
(Dr Ripan Sippy is a Delhi-based Clinical Psychologist)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.