New research has found that the people you socialise with can have a significant impact on your children's wellbeing.

 

The study, that was published in the Royal Society Open Science, states that the people in your social circles can alter their moods.

 

They found that a group’s mood can be socially contagious, “mood can spread over social via social contagion.”

 

 

Social contagion is a type of social influence, “The spread of a behavioral pattern, attitude, or emotion from person to person or group to group through suggestion, propaganda, rumour, or imitation.”

 

The researchers spoke to 2000 adolescents in the United States. The students talked about their personal friendships and this data was then analysed by the team.

 

The study found that upbeat and positive moods are more contagious in social circles, rather than negative and low moods.

 

 

They believe young people are more likely to be impacted by a friend who is feeling happy, rather than a friend who is feeling sad.

 

They found that people who spend time with low mood friends are less likely to be impacted by their mood.

 

The researchers say, “That this effect is not strong enough in the negative direction to lead to a significant increase in depression incidence.”

 

The experts hope this current information will help them discover more information about why depression is on the rise amongst younger people.

 

They think studying the “changes in the mood of adolescents that are affected by the mood of their friends would be beneficial in tackling adolescent depression.”

 

 

Previous studies found a link between obesity and social contagion. This has led researchers to believe that a child’s social circle may be damaging.

 

The report states, “This supports the view that there is more to clinical depression than simply low mood.”

 

According to Aware ten percent of young adults suffer from bouts of depression.

 

Many people feel like the pressure of performing well in school has a harrowing effect on young people’s mental health.

 

Mental health charity Pieta House found that school pressure was the biggest worry amongst students in Ireland.

 

The organisation conducted focus groups where they asked students what they were most worried about.

 

As well as school, the students admitted that they worry about anxiety, body image and cyberbullying.

 

Catherine Hughes, who works with the self-harm and suicide prevention charity, said that students from every school they went to said that the pressure of exams and school work was an extensive concern.

 

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