Thursday, January 13, 2011

Being optimistic pays off

I love to hear that being optimistic pays off! I was raised that attitude is everything, and so I feel that being optimistic has always been a part of my nature. However, I have learned that being optimistic myself is one thing, but teaching my children to be optimistic is another. Teaching children to be optimistic in hard times can sometimes be a challenge. However, the article below states that if you will put the efforts into teaching your children to be optimistic, it will pay off. In an article found on , a study says that being optimistic does make a difference in teens' mental health and behavior, especially against the onset of depressive symptoms. Click here for full article.  Here is part of that article by the AAP and

In the study, "A Prospective Study of the Effects of Optimism on Adolescent Health Risks," published in the February 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online Jan. 10), study authors assessed 5,634 students aged 12 to 14 years over three years on optimistic thinking style, emotional problems, substance use and antisocial behaviors.

Levels of optimism in boys remained stable but in girls there were marked falls in optimism across the study. At any given time optimistic teens were doing much better in terms of health risks. Most importantly, risks for the later onset of depression in adolescents who reported high levels of optimism were almost half those of the least optimistic. Optimism was also protective against the onset of substance abuse and antisocial behaviors such as theft, interpersonal violence and property damage.

The authors found that although optimism is protective against adolescent health risks it is not a panacea. Preventive interventions will also need to address other aspects of psychological and interpersonal functioning as well as the social circumstances in which younger teens are growing up.

**article by and AAP

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