Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

America's social circles are shrinking

Perhaps this is part of the reason that our democracy needs to be revitalized? A recent study published in American Sociology Review, says in 1985 the average American had three people in his/her closest intimate circles.

Now, nearly 20 years later, that number has dropped to two. In 2004, one in four said they have no close confidants at all, compared with one in 10 in 1985.

Basically, Americans have one-third fewer close friends and confidants than just two decades ago and the number of people who have none has more than doubled -- another sign we may be living lonelier lives.

Studies have linked isolation and loneliness to mental and physical illnesses. Not to mention the fact that it runs counter to what is needed for an active democracy and citizenry.

The percentage of people, according to this same study, who confided only in family increased from 57 percent to 80 percent.

The number of Americans who depend totally on a spouse is up from 5 percent to 9 percent.

What are your thoughts?
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