Friendship groups play a major role in a student’s life and the density of ties that he/she shares with friends is associated with specific social and academic benefits, says a new study.
The study showed that friends can act both as resources and liabilities in an individual’s academic achievement and also continue to be so even after college life.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, students are quite savvy in recognising that friends can distract them and in strategically using friends to help them improve their academics.
The most successful strategies, however, differ by network type,” said Janice McCabe, Associate Professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, US.
In the study, the researchers mapped the friendship networks of 67 students at a Midwestern university. They found that student friendships can be classified into three types of networks — tight-knitters, samplers and compartmentalisers.
Students in the group of tight-knitters know each other, and refer to their friends as family and relied on each other socially. Academically, they were supportive and helpful.