Stories tagged loneliness

Nov
26
2007

Kicking away the blues?: Researchers in Canada have found that kids who have a high opinion of their athletic abilities tend to be more satisfied with their friendships. Why might that be?
Kicking away the blues?: Researchers in Canada have found that kids who have a high opinion of their athletic abilities tend to be more satisfied with their friendships. Why might that be?Courtesy afsilva
It’s no secret that the top athletes are BMOC – Big Man on Campus – in many of people’s eyes. But a new study completed recently in Canada looks at the relationship between athletic abilities and personal self-image. And researchers think there is a similar connection.

The study has found there is a correlation between a kid’s perception of his/her athletic abilities and the satisfaction they find in the number and quality of friends that they have. The better they perceive themselves athletically, the happier they are in their social life. Conversely, kids who felt they had lower athletic ability tended to say that they were lonelier in school.

The study was done through questionnaires given to 208 students in grades four to six at Canadian schools. The kids had to measure both their personal loneliness factor at school along with their athletic abilities. Also, students had to assess the athletic abilities of the students they like best and like least.

The students who rated higher for loneliness more commonly also rated low on athletic abilities, both by themselves and by their peers. And that leads the researchers to ask some new questions, that weren’t included in the survey.

Are kids with poor athletic skills less popular because they have fewer chances to make friends through being part of sports teams? Or are their athletic skills not as developed because they their lack of friendships with others have kept them from being a part of teams?

I’m not sure how I fall on this issue, but it does bring back to light the strong contention a former high school athletic director friend of mine would always talk about: that students involved in extra-curricular activities tended to have better grades.

What do you think of all of this? Share your thoughts here with a comment or two for other Science Buzz readers.

Nov
25
2007

This is how the moon feels: all the time now.
This is how the moon feels: all the time now.Courtesy Wikimedia commons
The product of a brief and fateful union between the earth and “a body as big as Mars” in the back alley of the solar system, our moon has never quite come to grips with its lack of a present father figure With a distant mother and no siblings, the Moon has no true peers to turn to, and has always had to reassure itself that, someday, definitely someday, it would find a moon just like it, a friend and comrade that it could finally relate to.

Unfortunately, the social workers of the galaxy, astronomers, have recently had to bear the bleak news to the Moon that it is, at best, an ”uncommon moon”, and that the chances of it ever finding its soul mate are “pretty sucky.”

Most moons were either formed simultaneously to the formation of their planets, or were trapped by a planet’s gravity at some point. Our moon was probably created thirty to fifty million years after the formation of the solar system by a massive impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body (the impact would have tossed enough material into “circumterrestrial orbit” to form the Moon). These sort of moon-creating knock-ups, if you will, leave a cloud of telltale dust in a star system, allowing scientists a general idea of which moons were created that way. By examining how many star systems have this dust could, astronomers have determined that it is likely that only 5 to 10 percent of moons (at most) share a similar origin to ours.

This was an understandably crushing revelation for the Moon. It remains in a gray mood, despite the consolations of people around the world, many of who have insisted that it is “still pretty.”