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Number of Close Friends and Their Links to Life Satisfaction Over the Great Recession in Germany

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Close Relationships and Happiness across Cultures

Part of the book series: Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology ((CAPP,volume 13))

Abstract

The present study tested if worries about the economy was associated with life satisfaction and if this association was mediated by individuals’ self-reported number of close friends. A longitudinal mediation model was employed across three time points with data from the beginning of the recession in 2008, the midst of the recession in 2011, and the recovery phase in 2013. A diverse sample of German emerging adults aged 18 to 29 (M (SD) age = 23.28 (3.53); 52.3% females at baseline) was selected. Results partly supported the hypotheses. More worries about the economy were associated with fewer close friends and having fewer friends was related to lower levels of life satisfaction. However, after considering the impact of covariates (e.g., gender, age, employment status), the study yielded slightly different results. Implications and practical applications for emerging adults’ well-being in light of economic strain are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In 2011, the number of friends was higher when educational attainment was higher (OR = 1.04; p < .001) and the respondent was employed (OR = 1.24, p < .001). Older participants reported fewer close friends (OR = 0.98; p < .001). Respondents from East Germany reported more close friends (OR = 1.14, p < .001). Females reported fewer friends (OR = .86, p <. 001). The same was found in 2013, where networks were larger when educational attainment was higher (OR = 1.03; p < .001) and respondents were employed (OR = 1.16, p < .05). Again, older and female participants reported to have fewer close friends (OR = 0.99; p < .01, and OR = .86, p <. 001, respectively).

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Landberg, M., Recksiedler, C. (2018). Number of Close Friends and Their Links to Life Satisfaction Over the Great Recession in Germany. In: Demir, M., Sümer, N. (eds) Close Relationships and Happiness across Cultures. Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology, vol 13. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89663-2_8

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