According to a new study done by Sociology students at the University of North Carolina, having friends is good for a person’s health starting in adolescence.
Data was taken from more than 14,000 Americans in 4 nationally representative groups from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, Health and Retirement Study and the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project.
The study focuses on two primary dimensions that differently influence health at different parts of life: it measures both social connectedness and social support using age-appropriate conceptualizations of these dimensions for each changing life stage. Finally, the research also analyzes many objectively measured endophenotypes including C-reactive protein, hypertension, overall obesity, and abdominal obesity to express key physiological causes for common diseases that appear with aging. The results of the study found that social interaction is related to better physiological operating and less chance of physical diseases/disorders across different parts of the life course and led to lower anticipated values for biomarkers like CRP, waist circumference, Body Mass Index and systolic blood pressure.
Even when adjusting for age, sex, and race, there is still a statistically significant negative association between socialness and certain disorders, like high blood pressure.
For this project, I was dealing with a news article that was fairly short, so including all the information from the study that was important was hard and forced me to be selective in what was included. Re-writing a news article is difficult for other reasons: since I was adapting this from a research article, I had to re-word things to make them understandable and casual to an everyday reader, as well as include information that is relevant to the article.
My summary focused more on how the research was found that the initial article. The New York Times article dealt mostly with what results were found as opposed to including what led researchers to these results, and I also included more information on what participants were found and where they were found. I feel as though knowing where participants came from helps people to better understand if these results can be generalized to everyone or only certain groups and allows them to more easily understand the results.
After doing this assignment, I better understand how hard it is for journalists to adapt research articles to something that can be used in popular media and read by everyday people, while also including what the research found. There are a lot of facts, results and processes that are deemed important from a research article but it is hard to include all of those things and maintain the interest of the average reader. So even though we should take articles that don’t include all the required information from an article in stride, we also need to understand the difficultly journalist face trying to write.