As family responsibilities and vocational pressures lessen, friendships become more important.
Among the elderly, friendships can provide links to the larger community, serve as a protective factor against depression and loneliness, and compensate for potential losses in social support previously given by family members.
We have to distinguish between fair-weather friends and true friends.
True friends remain with us through thick and thin while fair-weather friends are found only during sunny days.
A study performed at the University of Texas at Austin examined over 9,000 American adolescents to determine how their engagement in problematic behavior (such as stealing, fighting, and truancy) was related to their friendships.
Findings indicated that adolescents were less likely to engage in problem behavior when their friends did well in school, participated in school activities, avoided drinking, and had good mental health.The opposite was found regarding adolescents who did engage in problematic behavior.Whether adolescents were influenced by their friends to engage in problem behavior depended on how much they were exposed to those friends, and whether they and their friendship groups "fit in" at school.Based upon the reports of teachers and mothers, 75% of preschool children had at least one friend.This figure rose to 78% through the fifth grade, as measured by co-nomination as friends, and 55% had a mutual best friend.Friendship is one of the most precious gifts of life. A true friend stands by you through thick and thin. According to the great Roman Statesman Cicero “Friendship increases happiness and diminishes misery by doubling our joy and dividing our grief”. In the same manner, we must not be moved by apparent show of friendship.A person who has true friends in life is lucky enough Friendship makes life thrilling. True friendship knows no boundaries or demarcations of caste, creed, race and sex. Many remain with us in the guise of good friends and lead us to the wrong path. It does not matter how often you meet your friends, but how much you care and feel for another in good times as well as in bad times. Work friendships often take on a transactional feel; it is difficult to say where networking ends and real friendship begins." Older adults continue to report high levels of personal satisfaction in their friendships as they age, and even as the overall number of friends tends to decline.This satisfaction is associated with an increased ability to accomplish activities of daily living, as well as a reduced decline in cognitive abilities, decreased instances of hospitalization, and better outcomes related to rehabilitation.Especially for people who cannot go out as often, interactions with friends allow for continued societal interaction.Additionally, older adults in declining health who remain in contact with friends show improved psychological well-being.