As an adult, friends come and go--this is a fact we all have accepted. However, your childhood friends always tend to have a special place in your heart. You know that no matter where you live or which path you are on, you will always be there for each other during the bad times and the good.
Turns out, the friends you had when you were a child have an impact on your adult life. According to a study published in Psychological Science, time spent with friends in childhood is associated with physical health in adulthood.
For the purpose of this study, the researchers observed a group of boys who were initially recruited to participate as students. The researchers held these associations even after accounting for other potential influences, including physical health in childhood, and social integration in adulthood.
The participants’ parents reported how much time their children spent with their friends during an average week, beginning when the boys were about six years old and continuing through age 16. The study also included data on various individual characteristics like extraversion and hostility in childhood; physical health in childhood and adulthood, and family and environmental factors like socioeconomic status in childhood, and social integration in adulthood.
The findings of the study revealed that boys who spent more time with friends as children tended to have lower blood pressure and lower BMI as men in their early 30s.
“These findings suggest that our early social lives may have a small protective influence on our physical health in adulthood, and it’s not just our caregivers or financial circumstances, but also our friends who may be health protective,” said psychological scientist Jenny Cundiff of Texas Tech University.