Until now, little research has been carried out into the role friends and, in particular, best friends play in building resilience to adversity – surviving and thriving in the face of difficult times.
The new preliminary study, by Dr Rebecca Graber, University of Brighton Senior Lecturer in Psychology, for the first time provides long-term statistical evidence of the enormous benefit these valued social relationships have on adults’ resilience.
Dr Graber, who carried out the research whilst at the University of Leeds, recruited 185 adults through online social networking sites, university events and community organisations supporting socially-isolated adults. Some 75 adults completed the questionnaire.
Participants completed assessments on psychological resilience, best friendship quality, coping behaviours and self-esteem. Participants then completed the same assessments one year later, to see how best friendship quality had impacted resilience processes over this period.