Healthy Friendships

Adapted from and

Friendships play a major role in the lives of adolescents.[1]  A circle of caring and supportive friends can help adolescents transition to adulthood.[2] Parents, teachers and other adult role models can help young people learn how to make and keep good friends.[3] Still, forming and maintaining friendships during adolescence can be challenging. Peer pressure – good and bad – often affects decisions young people make.[3] Adults can set good examples, teach interpersonal skills, and help adolescents nurture positive friendships. One important lesson is that friends can say "no" to each other and remain friends.[4]

[1] Vaquera, E. & Kao, G. (2008). Do you like me as much as I like you? Friendship reciprocity and its effects on school outcomes among adolescents. Social Science Research, 37(1), 55-72.
[2] Jellinek, M., Patel, B., & Froehle, M. (2002). Bright futures in practice: Mental health — Volume I, practice guide. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from
[3] Spelling, M. (2005). Helping your child through early adolescence. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from
[4] The Cool Spot. Peer Pressure. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from

Last updated: April 11, 2016