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ANTH 4616Calendar f2018

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 Culture and Personality 

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Sunday, 19 May 2024, 13:21 (01:21 PM) CDT, day 140 of 2024

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In the News . . .


Friendship, Like Exercise and Diet, Is Essential for Good Health

The Scout Report, January 8, 2016, Volume 22, Number 1

Social networks as important as exercise, diet across the span of our lives

Social networks are good for your health

Social relationships and physiological determinants of longevity across the human life span

UNC Carolina Population Center

Good friends are hard to find - and even harder to keep

Friendship Class Clips

Years worth of research has confirmed what many of us take for granted: friendship is important - essential even - for happiness. Good friends are a buffer against anxiety and depression, a boon to positive moods, and a support in times of distress. Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences makes an even stronger case for the perks of a strong social network. In addition to psychological and sociological blessings, good friends, it seems, can also lead to better physical health. Using a large sample of epidemiological research and measures of obesity, inflammation, and blood pressure, the researchers established compelling links between the size and quality of a person's social network and their overall health. So much so, in fact, that in the analysis having good friends came out almost equal to exercise and diet for staying healthy and living longer. This leads to some bold conclusions. As study author Yang Claire Yang put it, "Our analysis makes it clear that doctors, clinicians, and other health workers should redouble their efforts to help the public understand how important strong social bonds are throughout the course of all of our lives." [CNH]

The first and second articles, from Science Daily and Science Focus, respectively, offer brief overviews of this important study. Next, a link takes readers to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online, where they may peruse the abstract of the original study, scout colorful graphs (under Metrics), and even download the entire article as a PDF. The fourth link navigates to UNC's Carolina Population Center, the research center behind this groundbreaking article. Here readers may peruse information on other research of interested, including such enlivening topics as the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, and many other fascinating population-related research. Next, readers will find commentary from The Guardian's Tim Lott on a recent study that found that 10 percent of people in the UK don't have a single friend. Finally, the Bitesize, from BBC, offers dozens of video clips on the topic of friendships to be used in lesson plans with students in elementary school, middle school, and high school.

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