- BTEC National
Last updated 29 Sept 2019
Friendship is a relationship between two or more friends.
The Social Benefits of Friendships
Being part of a supportive friendship group can combat loneliness and foster encouragement to avoid risk-taking behaviours. Emotional and social benefits of friendships will have a positive effect on an individual’s self-esteem and self-worth. Friendship provides support to someone when dealing with traumatic life events such as bereavement.
The Development of Relationships
Forming relationships has different functions and meaning throughout the lifespan.
During infancy and early childhood, play is the main basis for relationships. Infants form their first relationship with their main carer, whom they have an emotional attachment to. During early childhood, children make and break friendships. As children develop, they begin to form relationships based on mutual trust.
Throughout adolescence, friendships are formed because of common interests and are based on trust and support. This develops into adulthood where relationships take on various forms.
Formal relationships are relationships that take place with people you do not know personally. These start to establish during early adulthood. Formal relationships include those with work colleagues, or between a teacher and a student.
Formal relationships help develop confidence outside of the family setting and encourage individuals to rely on and further develop the social and communication skills that are initially learned within the home.
Retired adults in later adulthood have more time to devote to developing friendships, taking up new interests and travel. Others decide to devote more time to their existing relationships with family and close friends, rather than developing new friendships.