Study: Friends May Be Important Than Family

 Your family is important, but your friends may be even more important over the course of your life, finds new research. Michigan State University scholar William Chopik conducted a pair of studies and found that friendships become increasingly important to one’s happiness and health across the lifespan. Additionally, in older adults, friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members. So what makes friends so important? Chopik explains that over time, we keep the friends we like and make us feel good and discard the rest. Also, friends can provide a source of support for people who don’t have spouses or for those who don’t lean on family, and can help prevent loneliness in older adults. Family relationships can also be enjoyable, but sometimes involve serious, negative, and monotonous interactions. (EurekAlert!