A recent study reveals that popularity during adolescence may affect mental health in later life. You might have to think now if you were the cool type in high school.

A group of scientists from the University of Virginia studied and found the link between adulthood and teenage relationships. In the study, the researchers analyzed 169 socioeconomically and racially diverse persons over a period of 10 years, beginning from the age of 15. These scientists assessed their mental health by checking them yearly on their social acceptance, friendships, anxiety and signs of depression. They also looked at their friend and popularity by examining their close friends.

According to the scientist, popularity is measured by the number of individuals within a person’s age bracket that wouldn’t want to miss hanging out with such person. They defined high-quality friendship as one that possessed a level of intimate exchanges and attachments.

The result

After much analysis, the scientist found that those who were into close-knit relationships experienced better general well being at 25. They had increased-self worth, reduced social anxiety and minor symptoms of depression.

However, those popular ones in school reported social anxiety at 25. According to the lead author, Joseph Allen, the study shows that creating strong friendships is about the most severe teenage social experience. He added that being popular and liked by a large group of persons cannot replace making severe and deep friendships, and these experiences remain and affect what occurs later.

The researchers pointed out that their study was little and didn’t take into consideration, an individual’s characteristics. They believe their study shows necessary information about the effects of such relationships.

Allen went on to say although the modern world faces us with platforms where superficial friends abound, honing focus on fostering and strengthening close connections with few persons is very necessary.