Effects of Friendship on Social Buffering in Men
In this project a team of researchers from biology and psychology of the Georg August University Göttingen studied the potential stress-relieving effect of a close same-sex platonic friend during a stressful situation. A total of 90 male participants were subject to a standard social stress test and either had to go through the test alone or received support from their friend or an unknown supporter. Stress hormone samples were collected throughout the test session. As friendship and social support have been linked to the action of the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, samples were also analyzed for oxytocin to investigate whether an increase of oxytocin during the supportive phase with the friend may be associated to a reduced increase in stress hormones compared to participants without support or receiving support from a stranger only. This data set will allow to tap more into the physiological mechanisms underlying friendship and social support.