Are Friends Better Than Family for Your Health?
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
"You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family." That line comes from American writer Harper Lee's book "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Now compare her words to another famous expression: "Blood is thicker than water." This means that family will always be with you while other people -- with no blood connection -- may come and go.
Having strong ties to family and friends has long been identified as an important part of being happy and healthy. People need people.
However, if forced to choose which is more important, American researchers now say friendship is more important than family. Their new study suggests that friends may be more important than family members, especially as we age.
The study comes from researchers at Michigan State University. They found the importance of friendship on health and happiness grows as people get older.
William Chopik is an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State and was one of the lead researchers in this study. He says, "friendships become even more important as we age."
He adds that "keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being."
Chopik notes that we need to think of friendships as an investment in our future happiness.
The Michigan State researchers considered information from two separate surveys. The first involved just over 271,000 subjects. They participated in a study on health and happiness.
The second survey had nearly 7,500 participants. Its purpose was to study "relationship support" in older adults suffering from chronic, or long-term, conditions.
In the first group, both family and friendships influenced overall health and happiness.
However, in the second, researchers said that friendships "became a stronger predictor of health and happiness" as people get older. Also in the second group, unhealthy friendships led to increased chronic conditions. But with supportive friends, Chopik noted, participants reported being happier.
One reason: people can keep the friendships that make them feel good and move on from the ones that don't. Family, on the other hand, will always be with you. They can be helpful and enjoyable, but can also cause troubles.
Chopik explained that "there are now a few studies starting to show just how important friendships can be for older adults."
In general, he said, they show that friendships affect our day-to-day happiness and how long we live more so than relationships with spouses and family.
Friendships, he added, keep us from being lonely. But keeping a friendship for a long time takes work.
"If a friendship has survived the test of time," he said, "you know it must be a good one, a person you turn to for help and advice" and a person you want in your life.
This may be good news for people who don't have strong ties with family members. Not all of us are born into the families we need. But we all have the ability to make the friendships that we need.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report. I'm Anna Matteo.
1.Blood is thicker than water 血浓于水
They say that blood is thicker than water, that our relatives are more important to us than others.
2.be identified as 被认为...
Halsey was identified as a leading proponent of the values of progressive education.
3.move on 前进
Eventually the police were called to move them on.
Our sleep pattern is a barometer to our psychological well-being.
1.He adds that "keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being."
make a world of difference 大不相同
When you hit a bump in the road having supportive people around you will make a world of difference.
Such public statements, backed by the authority of WHO, can make a world of difference.
2.This may be good news for people who don't have strong ties with family members.
have strong ties with 与...保持紧密关系
But all three countries have strong political and economic ties with the US, unlike Russia.
The company is alleged to have strong ties with a leading figure in organized crime.
“朋友可以选择，但是家庭出身无从选择 。”这句话出自美国作家哈柏·李的小说《杀死一只知更鸟》 。
将她的名言与另一句格言对比一下：“血浓于水” 。意思是家人会永远不离不弃，而没有血缘关系的人可能会弃你而去 。
一直以来，与亲友保持紧密关系被认为是保持幸福健康的重要部分 。毕竟独脚难行 。
然而，如果非要选择孰轻孰重，美国研究人员的答案是，友情比亲情更加重要 。这项新研究暗示，尤其随着年龄增长，朋友可能比亲人更加重要 。
该研究由密歇根州立大学的研究人员主导 。他们发现，随着年龄增长，友情对于健康和幸福指数的重要性就愈加凸显 。
该研究的主导人员之一威廉·乔比克也是密歇根州立大学心理学助理教授 。他表示：“随着年龄增长，友情会变得越来越重要 。”
密歇根州立大学的研究员还参考了两项独立的调查信息 。第一项调查涉及271000名参与者 。他们参与了一项有关健康和幸福指数的研究 。
第二项调查涉及到7500名参与者 。调查目的是探索“关系支持”对患慢性病或长期疾病的中老年人的影响 。
在第二项调查中，研究人员说，随着年纪增长，友情“逐渐成为健康和幸福的预测标杆 。”而且第二项调查显示，不健康的友情会导致患慢性病的风险增加 。但是威廉还指出，在朋友的支持下，参与者们的幸福指数更高 。
原因之一是，人们可以维持让人愉悦的友情，忘却那些令人不快的友情 。另一方面，家人永远陪伴在侧 。家人会提供帮助，带给你快乐，但同时也会带来困扰 。
威廉解释称，“如今有几项研究开始表明友情对成年人来说有多重要 。”通常情况下，这些研究显示，友情会影响我们的日常幸福指数，友情比配偶、亲人的关系更能影响我们的寿命 。
威廉还提到：友情能让我们远离孤单 。但是这种情况只限于维持一段长久的友谊 。
这对于那些与家人关系不和谐的人来说可能是好消息 。并不是所有人出生的家庭都如我们所愿 。但是我们有能力选择理想的友情 。