National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Got to Have Friends

BY John Lilly

July 16-22, 2006 Issue | Posted 7/17/06 at 9:00 AM


People with a network of close friends in whom they can confide are significantly happier and healthier than those who lack such support, so a recent report in the American Sociological Review is a bit distressing. Close to a quarter of people surveyed by the report’s authors have “zero” close friends. More than 50% named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate-family members. People were not asked why they had fewer close ties, but the study’s lead investigator noted that Americans are working more, marrying later, having fewer children and commuting longer distances.