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Kira M. Newman – Friends Help Our Health As We Age

ic triangle of support. But our relationships change as we age. These days, when stress hits, I’m more likely to pour my heart out one-on-one, to my partner or closest friend.

For many of us, becoming an adult involves a narrowing and deepening of our supportive relationships, as partying with the gang gives way to coffee dates and gym excursions. And according to a new study, this friendship pattern—of focusing on quantity when we’re younger and on quality as we enter middle age—may have health benefits.

Psychologists know that social connection is good for our health: Elderly people with lots of friends live longer, and social capital may protect us against heart attacksand cognitive decline, for example. But this new study provides a deeper understanding of the link between relation-ships and health, how it changes across the lifespan, and how that might impact our social choices.

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