Research conducted at Dundee University shows the importance for teenagers’ mental health of socialising with friends and family.
The findings were gathered by psychology PhD student Kirsty Miller.
The paper, published in journal Psychiatric Research, is one of the first studies to look at teenage mental health and social interaction.
More than 1,000 adolescents were surveyed, with the results showing group identification can help prevent psychological disturbance while positive relationships with family, school and friends can help predict symptoms of mental ill-health among teenagers.
Kirsty said: “Previous studies have shown that identification with social groups is positively associated with adult mental wellbeing, with multiple group identifications being particularly beneficial, and this shows the same is true of adolescents.
“We believe our findings have implications for the prevention and treatment of mental problems, offering an alternative to traditional ways of viewing mental illness in adolescence and beyond.”
Of the 1,000 teenagers questioned, 71% of those who admitted to having no strong emotional ties registered as suffering from mental health issues.
The figure fell to just 17% for those who strongly identified with their family, school and friendship group.