"Friend" redirects here. For other uses, see Friend (disambiguation), Friends (disambiguation), and Friendship (disambiguation).
Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association. Friendship has been studied in academic fields such as communication, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, including social exchange theory, equity theory, relational dialectics, and attachment styles.
Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of such bonds. Such characteristics include affection; kindness, love, virtue, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, loyalty, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings to others, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.
The understanding of friendship in children tends to be more heavily focused on areas such as common activities, physical proximity, and shared expectations.:498[a] These friendships provide opportunity for playing and practicing self-regulation.:246 Most children tend to describe friendship in terms of things like sharing, and children are more likely to share with someone they consider to be a friend.:246 As children mature, they become less individualized and are more aware of others. They gain the ability to empathize with their friends, and enjoy playing in groups. They also experience peer rejection as they move through the middle childhood years. Establishing good friendships at a young age helps a child to be better acclimated in society later on in their life.
Based upon the reports of teachers and mothers, 75% of preschool children had at least one friend. This figure rose to 78% through the fifth grade, as measured by co-nomination as friends, and 55% had a mutual best friend.:247 About 15% of children were found to be chronically friendless, reporting periods without mutual friends at least six months.:250
Potential benefits of friendship include the opportunity to learn about empathy and problem solving. Coaching from parents can be useful in helping children to make friends. Eileen Kennedy-Moore describes three key ingredients of children's friendship formation: (1) openness, (2) similarity, and (3) shared fun. Parents can also help children understand social guidelines they haven't learned on their own. Drawing from research by Robert Selman and others, Kennedy-Moore outlines developmental stages in children's friendship, reflecting an increasing capacity to understand others' perspectives: "I Want It My Way", "What's In It For Me?", "By the Rules", "Caring and Sharing", and "Friends Through Thick and Thin."
In adolescence, friendships become "more giving, sharing, frank, supportive, and spontaneous." Adolescents tend to seek out peers who can provide such qualities in a reciprocal relationship, and to avoid peers whose problematic behavior suggest they may not be able to satisfy these needs. Relationships begin to become more focused on shared values, loyalty, and common interests, rather than physical concerns like proximity and access to play things that more characterize childhood.:246
A study performed at the University of Texas at Austin examined over 9,000 American adolescents to determine how their engagement in problematic behavior (such as stealing, fighting, and truancy) was related to their friendships. Findings indicated that adolescents were less likely to engage in problem behavior when their friends did well in school, participated in school activities, avoided drinking, and had good mental health. The opposite was found regarding adolescents who did engage in problematic behavior. Whether adolescents were influenced by their friends to engage in problem behavior depended on how much they were exposed to those friends, and whether they and their friendship groups "fit in" at school.
A study by researchers from Purdue University found that friendships formed during post-secondary education last longer than friendships formed earlier.
Friendship in adulthood provides companionship, affection, as well as emotional support, and contributes positively to mental well-being and improved physical health.:426
Adults may find it particularly difficult to maintain meaningful friendships in the workplace. "The workplace can crackle with competition, so people learn to hide vulnerabilities and quirks from colleagues. Work friendships often take on a transactional feel; it is difficult to say where networking ends and real friendship begins." Most adults value the financial security of their jobs more than friendship with coworkers.
The majority of adults have an average of two close friends. Numerous studies with adults suggest that friendships and other supportive relationships do enhance self-esteem.
Older adults continue to report high levels of personal satisfaction in their friendships as they age, and even as the overall number of friends tends to decline. This satisfaction is associated with an increased ability to accomplish activities of daily living, as well as a reduced decline in cognitive abilities, decreased instances of hospitalization, and better outcomes related to rehabilitation.:427 The overall number of reported friends in later life may be mediated by increased lucidity, better speech and vision, and marital status.:53
As on review phrased it:
Research within the past four decades has now consistently found that older adults reporting the highest levels of happiness and general well being also report strong, close ties to numerous friends.
As family responsibilities and vocational pressures lessen, friendships become more important. Among the elderly, friendships can provide links to the larger community, serve as a protective factor against depression and loneliness, and compensate for potential losses in social support previously given by family members.:32-3 Especially for people who cannot go out as often, interactions with friends allow for continued societal interaction. Additionally, older adults in declining health who remain in contact with friends show improved psychological well-being.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have difficulty forming and maintaining friendships, due to a limited ability to build social skills through observational learning, difficulties attending to social cues, and because of the social impacts of impulsive behavior and a greater tendency to engage in behavior that may be seen as disruptive by their peers. In a 2007 review, no treatment was identified which effectively address peer functioning in children with ADHD, and treatments which addressed other aspects of the disorder were not found to eliminate issues related to peer functioning.
Certain symptoms of autism spectrum disorders can interfere with the formation of interpersonal relations, such as a preference for routine actions, resistance to change, obsession with particular interests or rituals, and a lack of social skills. Children with autism have been found to be more likely to be close friends of one person, rather than having groups of friends. Additionally, they are more likely to be close friends of other children with some sort of a disability. A sense of parental attachment aids in the quality of friendships in children with autism spectrum disorders; a sense of attachment with one's parents compensates for a lack of social skills that would usually inhibit friendships.
A study done by Frankel et al. showed that parental intervention and instruction plays an important role in such children developing friendships. Along with parental intervention, school professionals play an important role in teaching social skills and peer interaction. Paraprofessionals, specifically one-on-one aides and classroom aides, are often placed with children with autism spectrum disorders in order to facilitate friendships and guide the child in making and maintaining substantial friendships.
Although lessons and training may help peers of children with autism, bullying is still a major concern in social situations. According to Anahad O'Connor of The New York Times, bullying is most likely to occur against autistic children who have the most potential to live independently, such as those with Asperger syndrome. Such children are more at risk because they have as many of the rituals and lack of social skills as children with full autism, but they are more likely to be mainstreamed in school, since they are on the higher-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Children with autism have more difficulty attending to social cues, and so may not always recognize when they are being bullied.
Children with Down syndrome have increased difficulty forming friendships. They experience a language delay causing them to have a harder time playing with other children. Most children with Down syndrome may prefer to watch other students and play alongside a friend but not with them, mostly because they understand more than they can outwardly express. In preschool years, children with Down syndrome can benefit from the classroom setting, surrounded by other children and less dependent on adult aid. Children with this disability benefit from a variety of interactions with both adults and children. At school, ensuring an inclusive environment in the classroom can be difficult, but proximity to close friends can be crucial for social development.
Studies have found that strong social supports improve a woman's prospects for good health and longevity. Conversely, loneliness and a lack of social supports have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections, and cancer, as well as higher mortality rates overall. Two researchers have even termed friendship networks a "behavioral vaccine" that boosts both physical and mental health.
There is a large body of research linking friendship and health, but the precise reasons for the connection remain unclear. Most of the studies in this area are large prospective studies that follow people over time, and while there may be a correlation between the two variables (friendship and health status), researchers still do not know if there is a cause and effect relationship, such as the notion that good friendships actually improve health. A number of theories have attempted to explain this link. These theories have included that good friends encourage their friends to lead more healthy lifestyles; that good friends encourage their friends to seek help and access services when needed; that good friends enhance their friends' coping skills in dealing with illness and other health problems; and that good friends actually affect physiological pathways that are protective of health.
The lack of friendship has been found to play a role in increasing risk of suicidal ideation among female adolescents, including having more friends who were not themselves friends with one another. However, no similar effect was observed for males. Having few or no friends is a major indicator in the diagnosis of a range of mental disorders.
Higher friendship quality directly contributes to self-esteem, self-confidence, and social development. A World Happiness Database study found that people with close friendships are happier, although the absolute number of friends did not increase happiness.Other studies have suggested that children who have friendships of a high quality may be protected against the development of certain disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Conversely, having few friends is associated with dropping out of school, as well as aggression, and adult crime.:500 Peer rejection is also associated with lower later aspiration in the workforce, and participation in social activities, while higher levels of friendship was associated with higher adult self-esteem.:500–1
The dissolution of a friendship may be viewed as a personal rejection, or may be the result of natural changes over time, as friends grow more distant both physically and emotionally. The disruption of friendships has been associated with increased guilt, anger and depression, and may be highly stressful events, especially in childhood. However, potential negative effects can be mitigated if the dissolution of a friendship is replaced with another close relationship.:248
Friends tend to be more similar to one another in terms of age, gender, behavior, substance abuse, personal disposition, and academic performance.:248:426:55–6 In ethnically diverse countries, there is broad evidence that children and adolescents tend to form friendships with others of the same race or ethnicity, beginning in preschool, and peaking in middle or late childhood.:264
In general, female-female friendship interactions among children tend to be more focused on interpersonal connections and mutual support, while male-male interaction tends to be more focused on social status, and may actively discourage the expression of emotional needs.:320-2 Females report more anxiety, jealousy, and relational victimization and less stability related to their friendships, and males report higher levels of physical victimization. Although males and females tend to report comparative levels of satisfaction with their friendships.:249–50
Among older adults, women tend to be more socially adept than their male peers, and many older men may rely upon a female companion, such as a spouse, in order to compensate for their comparative lack of social skills.:55
See also: Ethology, Altruism in animals, and Sociobiology
Friendship is also found among animals of higher intelligence, such as higher mammals and some birds. Cross-species friendships are common between humans and domestic animals. Cross-species friendships may also occur between two non-human animals, such as dogs and cats. Research by McLennan measured the heart rates of cattle, and showed that the cows were more stressed when alone or with an unfamiliar cow than they were with friends, lending support to the idea that cows are social animals, capable of forming close bonds with each other.
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|Look up friendship in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- ^In comparison to older respondents, who tend to describe friendship in terms of psychological rather than mostly physical aspects.:498
"Good times are even better when they are shared"
"Listening is just as important as talking"
"Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on"
"The only way to have a friend is to be one"
"we laughed until we cried" (from a jason aldean song)
'' Trust Friends it'll never lost
*!Angels sent from heaven!*
2 Perfect 2 Change a Thing
A Boy And His Dog
A Budding Friendship
A family of friends
A Friend Can Always patch things up
A friend is a rare book where only one copy was made.
A friendship grows when you plant a seed.
A Garden of Friends
A Girl and Her Dog
A good friend is like a wonderful book, the inside is even better than the cover!
A Lifetime's Not Too Long To Live As Friends
A sister is a special kind of friend.
A small circle of friends.
A Special Kinda Love
A True Friend, A Priceless Treasure
Amigos para siempre
Attached at the heart
Band of Brothers
Before I was a Mother...
Best Friends 'til The End
Birds of a Feather
Birthday List 1. 58 rose- april 9 2. Auzzie Kaz- april 15 3. Betty -july 24 4. cat scrap-may9 5. Daxs -july 15 6. scrappin- oct.9 7. kazy cris- feb.21 8. splummer-april 4 9. sugarplum - nov. 24 10. Tikadawn- july 24
Born Sisters, Forever Friends!
BROTHERS BY CHOICE
brothers, bothers, friends
Circle of Love
Dressing Up Is So Much Fun
Every good friend once was a strange.
Every seconds are miracles..
Friend to Friend, Heart to Heart
Friend to Friend, Heart to Heart
Friends (for now)
Friends 4 ever
Friends 4 Ever
Friends A Priceless Treasure
Friends are chocolate chips in the cookies of life
Friends are Flowers that Never Fade
Friends are gifts that heaven sends.
Friends are kept forever in the heart.
Friends are like bras....close to your heart & there for support
FRIENDS ARE LIKE PRECIOUS DIAMONDS,AND THOSE WHO ARE JUST PRETENDING ARE LIKE AUTUMN LEAVES SCATTERED IN THE PARK-JECHRIST
Friends are our chosen family
Friends are the best collectibles!
Friends are the family we chose
Friends are the spice that makes everything nice.
Friends at first sight
Friends Bring Color to Our Lives
Friends for life
Friends listen with the heart.
Friends make happiness happen.
Friends(ships) are music for the heart.
Friendship in Full Bloom
Friendship is a garden.
Friendship Like Gardens, Grow With Beauty
Friendship warms the heart
Friendship warms the heart.
Friendship...brewed to perfection
Ghouls Night Out!
Good friends are angels on earth.
Good Times Together
Growing Up Friends
Hangin' With Friends
Having a hamster as a great friend!
Hi!!!! God Bless America! Have a GREAT day!!
Hug someone today
I got you, Babe.
If friends were flowers, I would pick you!
If friends were flowers, I'd pick you
It takes a long time to grow old friends.
Its a GIRL Thing!
Just the two of us...
Just Us Girls
Lang Birthday Concert for Mary Lou with Martha
Life is a patchwork of friends.
Life without friendship is like the sky without sun.
Live well, laugh often, love much
Love is like your heart, it only beats for one.
Love one another
Lucky to be Friends!
Lucky to be Friends!
Making memories of Us
Memories are forever
More like brothers(sisters) than friends
My Best Friend
My Circle of Friends
my truly fat cat Georgia we love u
Partners In Crime
People, Let Me Tell You 'Bout My Best Friend!
Picture Perfect Friends
Plant a seed and watch it grow!
RAWR! (means "I Love You" in Dinosaur)
Sand Pals Sand Pals
Scrap-booking Friends, are always close to the heart
Sisters for life Friends Forever
Smiles Are Contagious!
So Happy Together
Someone to Watch Over Me
Tea and Empathy
That's What Friends are For
The Beary Best of Friends The better part of ones life consists of his friendships. - Abraham Lincoln Bestest Friends or Best of Buddies or Best Buds The best things in life aren't things - they are friends. Close Friends: are the ones you contact when there is good news are the on...
The best antiques to collect are old friends.
The Best of Friends
THE FORGIVEN YESTERDAY
The Many Faces of (insert name here)
The road to a friend's house is never long.
The Three Amigos
There are gold ships and silver ships, but there is no ship like friendship...
This Is Me..........
True Blue Buddies
Two of a Kind
Two of a kind
Two Peas In A Pod
We live for the bounties of fall, but the harvest of friendship is blessed above all.
We will be friends till be are blue in the hair.
What Means The Most
Women of a Certain Age are.....
ya..hi..we're here for the special education convention..we would like 3 tickets 2 see curious George...YEAH!
You and me...buds forever!
You Were Always On My Mind
You've got a Friend in Me