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As family responsibilities and vocational pressures lessen, friendships become more important.
Among the elderly, friendships can provide links to the larger community, serve as a protective factor against depression and loneliness, and compensate for potential losses in social support previously given by family members.
This figure rose to 78% through the fifth grade, as measured by co-nomination as friends, and 55% had a mutual best friend.
Additionally, they are more likely to be close friends of other children with some sort of a disability.
A sense of parental attachment aids in the quality of friendships in children with autism spectrum disorders; a sense of attachment with one's parents compensates for a lack of social skills that would usually inhibit friendships.
Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.
Friendship has been studied in academic fields such as communication, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and philosophy.
Such characteristics include affection; kindness, love, virtue, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, loyalty, generosity, forgiveness, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings to others, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend.