Here’s some good news – teens catch each other’s good moods, with the resulting effect that depression may be abated or at least not spread so quickly.
In a study of over 2,000 American high school students researchers found that positive moods spread through teen groups, but depression does not spread nor increase the risk of depression among friends.
Moreover, an abundance of friends in good spirits can cut the chances that a teen will develop depression by half. It also doubles the expectation of recovery from depression over the same time period.
The study could not prove a cause and effect relationship between happy friends and the effect on depression. It only showed an association.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
“We know social factors, for example living alone or having experienced abuse in childhood, influences whether someone becomes depressed. We also know that social support is important for recovery from depression, for example having people to talk to,” said study author Thomas House, a senior lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Manchester in the U.K.