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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012 Jan;7(1):106-14. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsq098. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Time spent with friends in adolescence relates to less neural sensitivity to later peer rejection.

Author information

  • 1Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis, 267 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA 95618, USA. clmasten@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Involvement with friends carries many advantages for adolescents, including protection from the detrimental effects of being rejected by peers. However, little is known about the mechanisms through which friendships may serve their protective role at this age, or the potential benefit of these friendships as adolescents transition to adulthood. As such, this investigation tested whether friend involvement during adolescence related to less neural sensitivity to social threats during young adulthood. Twenty-one adolescents reported the amount of time they spent with friends outside of school using a daily diary. Two years later they underwent an fMRI scan, during which they were ostensibly excluded from an online ball-tossing game by two same-age peers. Findings from region of interest and whole brain analyses revealed that spending more time with friends during adolescence related to less activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula--regions previously linked with negative affect and pain processing--during an experience of peer rejection 2 years later. These findings are consistent with the notion that positive relationships during adolescence may relate to individuals being less sensitive to negative social experiences later on.

PMID:
21183457
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3252626
Free PMC Article

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