How Does the Number of Friends One Has Affect the Likelihood of Depression?

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Friendship, Emotion Pages: 5 (1762 words) Published: December 4, 2012
How does the number of friends one has affect the likelihood of depression?

Depression is a common but serious medical condition that not only negatively impacts the individual, but the people around them as well. It is brought about by factors including genetics, substance abuse, and other psychological facets. However, the most common factor in regards to depression is social isolation in which the individual is starved for companionship and emotional support. Even though the family may be present, the desire for third party acceptance is always there. In some cases with certain individuals having friends or a certain amount of friends helps reassure them of the fact that they are accepted and included by their peers or colleagues. This is more likely in a scenario where the individual has low self-esteem and is extremely insecure about his or her social skills and can draw comfort from numbers. In this case if the individual were to have a smaller number of friends, with everyone else around them having large groups and enjoying social scenarios, slowly and gradually they are likely to get more mellow and depressive. However this form of depression doesn't tend to be serious or fatal unless there is gene for depression present, if the individual is chronically depressed or has a substance abuse problem. Social depression added to any of these scenarios can trigger a more harmful or fatal form of depression. If we were to deny that the number of friends has no part in causing depression, then we have to consider why people with medium to large groups of friends tend to be more involved with society, considerably happier and successful? Although people with friends have also been known to go into depression after incurring a RUNNING HEAD: HOW DOES THE NUMBER OF FRIENDS ONE HAS AFFECT THE 4 LIKELIHOOD OF DEPRESSION

Sudden life-altering event or if they have tendencies based on genetics or substance abuse.

Friendship is thought to reduce or prevent negative affect and stress is thought to cause negative affect. A study by Saper (1995) measured stress, friendship interaction, and negative affect in 182 fifth grade children on two occasions in order to determine how these variables interrelate over time. The Elwood Daily Hassles Questionnaire was used as a measure of stress. A modified version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Somatic and Depression sub scales of the Child Behavior Checklist-Youth Self-Report, and the Children's Depression Inventory were used as measures of negative affect. Children's responses to two items regarding the amount of time spent with friends were used as a measure of friendship, and children's responses to three items regarding the number of problems they talked about with friends was used as a measure of the amount of discussion of problems. Four a priori models were evaluated using structural path analysis: a traditional model postulating a causal influence of stress on depression and an antagonistic influence of friendship on depression, a Non-traditional model postulating a negative influence of stress on friendship, a negative influence of depression on friendship and a positive influence of negative affect on the self-report of stress, a complete model including all of the above influences and reduced model which included none of the above influences. All models allowed for intercorrelation of the measures on each occasion. Results of a priori analyses favored the Non-traditional model. Analysis suggested further investigation of a model incorporating a negative influence of stress on the amount of time spent with friends during the following week and a positive influence of the number of problems discussed with others on the amount of stress reported during the following week. How does the number of friends one has affect the likelihood of depression? Agreeing with this statement could make it a rule that the quantity of friends makes the biggest...
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