Best Friends and Health

Interesting piece from HealthDay News today on the benefits to kids of having a best friend present during times of stress. Here is an excerpt:

(HealthDay News)—A best friend can help children deal with negative experiences, a new study suggests.

"Having a best friend present during an unpleasant event has an immediate impact on a child's body and mind," said study co-author William Bukowski, a psychology professor and director of the Center for Research in Human Development at Concordia University, in Montreal. "If a child is alone when he or she gets in trouble with a teacher or has an argument with a classmate, we see a measurable increase in cortisol levels and decrease in feelings of self-worth."

In conducting the study, researchers asked 55 boys and 48 girls from grades 5 and 6 in Montreal to record their feelings and experiences in a journal over the course of four days. The children's levels of cortisol -- the stress hormone -- were also monitored in regular saliva tests.

The study, recently published in the journal Developmental Psychology, found that cortisol increased and self-worth decreased when a child had a negative experience. However, with a best friend present when trouble struck, cortisol levels and feelings of self-worth changed less.

Read the full article.

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