Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Friendship makes a difference in stress regulation

26.10.2011
Social rejection can cause stress in preschoolers, adolescents, and adults. But what happens in middle childhood, a time when peer rejection can be particularly stressful and friendships are key? A new study has found that friendships serve as a buffer against the negative effects of classmates' rejection.

The study, conducted by researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, appears in the journal Child Development.

Cortisol, a human stress hormone, mobilizes energy and helps us respond to potential threat when we're under stress. Increased levels of cortisol are adaptive—they help us adapt how we function to changing circumstances and cope with stressors when they occur—but chronically high levels can have negative effects on how we function, especially on our immune system.

This study looked at almost 100 fourth graders—an age that's been understudied in this regard—to determine whether victimization and exclusion by peers were related to increases in cortisol, and whether friendships moderated this association. The children were part of a longitudinal study on infant and child development that was carried out in the Netherlands and designed to be representative of the Dutch population.

Researchers asked children to nominate classroom peers who were often bullied, picked on, or excluded by other children. They also asked children about the number of friends they had within the classroom, and the quality of their best friendships. In addition, they questioned the children's parents about behavior problems, and they measured children's cortisol levels through saliva collections five times on each of two consecutive school days.

Children who were excluded by their classmates had elevated levels of cortisol at school, the study found. And they had a smaller decline in cortisol over the course of the day. Both of these findings may indicate that exclusion is stressful. This was even more pronounced for excluded kids who had few friends or had friendships that were characterized as low in quality.

Victimization by classmates wasn't associated with increased cortisol levels, suggesting that victimization is not as stressful as exclusion.

"Together, the results demonstrate that although friends cannot completely eliminate the stress of exclusion at school, they do reduce it," according to Marianne Riksen-Walraven, professor of developmental psychology at Radboud University Nijmegen. "And the number and quality of children's friendships can serve as a buffer against being rejected."

The study was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht ECG procedure indicates whether an implantable defibrillator will extend a patient's life
02.09.2019 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane
14.08.2019 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Clarification of a new synthesis mechanism of semiconductor atomic sheet

23.09.2019 | Materials Sciences

SUTD researchers revolutionize 3D printed products with data-driven design method

23.09.2019 | Information Technology

Bioplastics from Waste Fats

23.09.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>