After reading this article:
I realised how updated a text I used for my 9th graders was:
"In the quest for better health, many people turn to doctors, self-help books or herbal supplements. But they overlook a powerful weapon that could help them fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: their friends.
Researchers are only now starting to pay attention to the importance of friendship and social networks in overall health. A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends.
And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could promote brain health as we age.
While many friendship studies focus on the intense relationships of women, some research shows that men can benefit, too.
Exactly why friendship has such a big effect isn’t entirely clear. People with strong friendships are less likely than others to get colds, perhaps because they have lower stress levels. It may be that people with strong social ties also have better access to health services and care.
While friends can run errands and pick up medicine for a sick person, the benefits go well beyond physical assistance; indeed, proximity does not seem to be a factor. Friendship clearly has a profound psychological effect."
By TARA PARKER-POPE
Published: April 20, 2009 (abridged and adapted)