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The presence of a best friend buffers the effects of negative experiences.

Authors
  • Adams, Ryan E
  • Santo, Jonathan Bruce
  • Bukowski, William M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental psychology
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2011
Volume
47
Issue
6
Pages
1786–1791
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/a0025401
PMID: 21895364
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The goal of the current study was to examine how the presence of a best friend might serve as protection against the effect of negative experiences on global self-worth and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (HPA axis). A total of 103 English-speaking male (n = 55) and female (n = 48) participants from Grade 5 (M = 10.27 years) and Grade 6 (M = 11.30 years) completed booklets about their experiences that occurred 20 min previously and how they felt about themselves at the moment, and they provided saliva multiple times per day over the course of 4 consecutive days. Having a best friend present during an experience significantly buffered the effect of the negativity of the experience on cortisol and global self-worth. When a best friend was not present, there was a significant increase in cortisol and a significant decrease in global self-worth as the negativity of the experience increased. When a best friend was present, there was less change in cortisol and global self-worth due to the negativity of the experience.

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