Healthy social life in college can pay off later

Healthy social life in college can pay off later

Being social as a young adult can benefit a person’s well-being later in life, according to a recent study.

Researchers found that the number of social interactions a person has at age 20 and the quality of social relationships a person has at age 30 can predict emotional well-being at 50 years old.

“Developing healthy social habits early on in life and maintaining quality relationships throughout adulthood is very important for a person’s overall and psychological health,” says Dr. Maleeha Ahsan, an Advocate Medical Group psychiatrist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill.

The study tracked 133 individuals over a 30-year period.

At 20 and 30 years old, participants tracked their social encounters that lasted more than 10 minutes in a diary. They then rated how intimate, pleasant and satisfying each social interaction was. Later, at age 50, the participants filled out an online survey about the quality of their social lives and emotional well-being.

“The diary technique used in this study to record and analyze social activity soon after it occurs is a valuable method because it minimizes the impact of flawed recollection and other forms of memory bias,” says Dr. Ahsan.

“Considering everything else that goes on in life over those 30 years – marriage, raising a family, and building a career – it is extraordinary that there appears to be a relationship between the kinds of interactions college students and young adults have and their emotional health later in life,” lead author Cheryl Carmichael said in a news release.


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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.