Friend support and psychological distress in a U.S. adult twin sample

Briana N. Horwitz, Chandra A. Reynolds, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Susan T. Charles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Friend support is often assumed to exert direct environmental influences on psychological distress, yet the role of both genetic and environmental influences on this association has not been examined. This study investigates whether both genetic and environmental factors explain the link between friend support and psychological distress in adults. The sample was drawn from the Midlife Development in the United States study and included 947 pairs of monozygotic, same-sex dizygotic (DZ), and opposite-sex DZ twins. Results showed that genetic influences explain the association between friend support and psychological distress, suggesting that heritable contributions to friend support also shape psychological distress. Interventions focused on psychological distress should consider how individuals' heritable characteristics influence their friend support and psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-582
Number of pages13
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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