This is the latest accepted preschool of the thesis the development of speech, reviewed on 18 April 2018. Portrait of Two Friends by Italian artist Pontormo, c. Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.
Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of such bonds. The understanding of friendship in children tends to be more heavily focused on areas such as common activities, physical proximity, and shared expectations. These friendships provide opportunity for playing and practicing self-regulation. Most children tend to describe friendship in terms of things like sharing, and children are more likely to share with someone they consider to be a friend. As children mature, they become less individualized and are more aware of others. They gain the ability to empathize with their friends, and enjoy playing in groups. They also experience peer rejection as they move through the middle childhood years.
Potential benefits of friendship include the opportunity to learn about empathy and problem solving. Coaching from parents can be useful in helping children to make friends. In adolescence, friendships become “more giving, sharing, frank, supportive, and spontaneous. Adolescents tend to seek out peers who can provide such qualities in a reciprocal relationship, and to avoid peers whose problematic behavior suggest they may not be able to satisfy these needs. A study by researchers from Purdue University found that friendships formed during post-secondary education last longer than friendships formed earlier. Friendship in adulthood provides companionship, affection, as well as emotional support, and contributes positively to mental well-being and improved physical health. Adults may find it particularly difficult to maintain meaningful friendships in the workplace.
The workplace can crackle with competition, so people learn to hide vulnerabilities and quirks from colleagues. The majority of adults have an average of two close friends. Numerous studies with adults suggest that friendships and other supportive relationships do enhance self-esteem. 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. The overall number of reported friends in later life may be mediated by increased lucidity, better speech and vision, and marital status. Research within the past four decades has now consistently found that older adults reporting the highest levels of happiness and general well being also report strong, close ties to numerous friends. 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. 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. Certain symptoms of autism spectrum disorders can interfere with the formation of interpersonal relations, such as a preference for routine actions, resistance to change, obsession with particular interests or rituals, and a lack of social skills.