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Adolescent friendships predict later resilient functioning across psychosocial domains in a healthy community cohort

Van Harmelen, A-L; Kievit, RA; Ioannidis, K; Neufeld, S; Jones, PB; Dolan, R; The NSPN Consortium, .; ... Goodyer, I; + view all (2017) Adolescent friendships predict later resilient functioning across psychosocial domains in a healthy community cohort. Psychological Medicine , 47 (13) pp. 2312-2322. 10.1017/S0033291717000836. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Adolescence is a key time period for the emergence of psychosocial and mental health difficulties. To promote adolescent adaptive (‘resilient’) psychosocial functioning, appropriate conceptualization and quantification of such functioning and its predictors is a crucial first step. Here, we quantify resilient functioning as the degree to which an individual functions better or worse than expected given their self-reported childhood family experiences, and relate this to adolescent family and friendship support. METHODS: We used Principal Component and regression analyses to investigate the relationship between childhood family experiences and psychosocial functioning (PSF: psychiatric symptomatology, personality traits and mental wellbeing) in healthy adolescents (the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network; N=2389; ages 14-24). Residuals from the relation between childhood family experiences and PSF reflect resilient functioning; the degree to which an individual is functioning better, or worse, than expected given their childhood family experiences. Next, we relate family and friendship support with resilient functioning both cross-sectionally and one year later. RESULTS: Friendship and family support were positive predictors of immediate resilient psychosocial functioning, with friendship support being the strongest predictor. However, whereas friendship support was a significant positive predictor of later resilient functioning, family support had a negative relationship with later resilient psychosocial functioning. CONCLUSIONS: We show that friendship support, but not family support, is an important positive predictor of both immediate and later resilient psychosocial functioning in adolescence and early adulthood. Interventions that promote the skills needed to acquire and sustain adolescent friendships may be crucial in increasing adolescent resilient psychosocial functioning.

Type: Article
Title: Adolescent friendships predict later resilient functioning across psychosocial domains in a healthy community cohort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0033291717000836
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291717000836
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1544179
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