Posted by & filed under Clinical Health Psychology, Depression, Disorders of Childhood, Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, Interpersonal Attraction Close Relationships, Intervention: Children and Adolescents, Social Psychology, The Self.

Description: Ignoring the title of the article this post focuses upon for a second what would be your prediction? Is hanging around with depressed people likely to make you depressed? What about the opposite (hanging around with happy – or at least well-adjusted stable people)?

Source: Science Daily: Happiness spreads but depressions doesn’t

Date: August 19, 2015

Happiness spreads

Photo Credit: Kalim / Fotolia.

Links: Article Link

So do the mental or mood states of other “rub off” on us? Do happy people make us happier and do depressed people make us more depressed? Well research by social psychologists at the University of Warwick suggests that only half of the above statement is true. Having friends who were depressed did not increase the likelihood that adolescents would show signs of depression over a 6 to 12 month period. However, adolescents were likely to show fewer signs of depression or were, in fact, half as likely to start to show signs of depression if they had at least 10 friends who could be described as having healthy moods. Healthy moods were generally defined as being happier or lower in symptoms of depression. So while perhaps you don’t need to pick all your friends carefully, it would seem advisable to at least be sure to have a good number of friends that display healthy mood states. The authors of this research are not entirely clear as to why this might be their likely a number of concepts, principles, and theories within social psychology that could help us put together some hypotheses for why this might occur.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What Social Psychological theories or concepts are there that might support your hypothesis in response to the question at the top of this posting?
  2. What about the findings discussed in the article?
  3. What do these findings suggest about adolescent and your adult life planning?

References (Watch Further):

  1. M. Hill, F. E. Griffiths, T. House. Spreading of healthy mood in adolescent social networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2015 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1180