Social interactions during adolescence can affect health many years into adulthood, according to research published June 27 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
The authors of the study, led by Per E Gustafsson of Umeå University in Sweden, used data from a long-term study monitoring social relationships and health over 27 years, from age 16 to 43, for over 800 participants. The researchers found that problematic peer relationships in adolescence, as measured through teachers' assessments, were correlated with all components of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of metabolic and cardiovascular issues including obesity and high blood pressure, in middle age.
Citation: Gustafsson PE, Janlert U, Theorell T, Westerlund H, Hammarstro¨m A (2012) Do Peer Relations in Adolescence Influence Health in Adulthood? Peer Problems in the School Setting and the Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Age. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39385. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039385
Financial Disclosure: The study was funded by the County Council of Va¨sterbotten (www.vll.se, ALF, grant number 147931), The Swedish Research Council (www.vr.se, VR, grant number 521-2005-4084), the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (www.fas.se, FAS, grant number 2006-0950), and PEG by Umea° University (www.umu.se, Young Researcher Award, grant number 223-514-09). The study was in part also funded by the Stockholm Stress Center, a FAS (Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research) Centre of Excellence (FAS, grant #2009-1758). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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