Youngsters who try to keep up with richer friends are more likely to have worse mental health than those who feel economically equal, a new study reveals. Researchers from the University of Cambridge say feeling poorer can lead to lower self-esteem, anxiety, and behavior problems such as anger issues or hyperactivity. Those who felt equal in wealth had much higher self-esteem and behaved better socially, with those who felt poorer or richer than their friends being more likely to bully others. Authors, who published their research in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, believe that people who hang out with those of higher socioeconomic status feel like they do not have a sense of belonging and feel inadequate. “Adolescence is an age of transitions when we use social comparisons to make self-judgments and develop our sense of self,” said lead author Blanca Piera Pi-Sunyer, a Cambridge Gates Scholar and PhD candidate in the university’s Department of Psychology, in a media release. Blanca added that a sense of economic position especially in the immediate environment could be problematic for a sense of belonging.