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Social Connections Crucial, Study Finds

December 18, 2008

A survey done at the University of Chicago in 2004 noted that as many as 25 percent of Americans have no one to confide in. A previous study in 1985 found that the average American had at least three people with whom to confide. In 2005, that number dropped to two, and one in four had no close confidants at all.

In the Dec. 1 issue of the Archives of Psychology, lead author Mark Olfson reports "almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs." The researchers found that "almost half of the college-aged adults had a psychiatric disorder over a one year span that ranged from bipolar disease to substance abuse including smoking." They discovered that about 20 percent of the students "failed to fulfill an obligation, had a legal problem, did something dangerous, or caused social problems by using alcohol."

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