The mantra that quality is more important than quantity is true when considering how social relationships influence depression, say U-M researchers in a new study.
After analyzing data from nearly 5,000 American adults, the researchers found that the quality of a person’s relationships with a spouse, family and friends predicted the likelihood of major depression disorder in the future, regardless of how frequently their social interactions took place.
Individuals with strained and unsupportive spouses were significantly more likely to develop depression, whereas those without a spouse were at no increased risk. And those with the lowest quality relationships had more than double the risk of depression than those with the best relationships.
The study, which was published online today in PLOS ONE, assessed the quality of social relationships on depression over a 10-year period, and is one of the first to examine the issue in a large, broad population over such a long time period.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education