A Concordia University researcher, in partnership with American colleagues, recently discovered that having friends is a protective factor for young adults, when faced with a negative event.
They recruited 103 youth from grades 5 and 6, and measured their cortisol level, a stress hormone, 5 times per day for 4 days. The results showed that when friends are faced with a negative event, their cortisol level increases. However, when they face this event with their best friend, this increase is not present.
These results demonstrate the positive impact of friendship on cortisol secretion and suggest that it can be a protective factor for psychological adjustment during negative events.