The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Relax! Angst may be good for your teen
IT MIGHT take years off the lives of parents who have to put up with it, but a study shows that teenage angst can actually be good for teenagers.
Researchers studied 99 young people aged between 17 and 19, asking them to write down their worries – including exam stress and concerns about their looks.
Then the psychologists from the University of Southern California took three separate mouth swabs from each of the group to measure levels of stress hormone cortisol.
Participants were asked to detail the common ailments, such as colds and headaches, they had suffered from over the previous three months.
Then four years later, the same group revealed the illnesses they had suffered in the previous year.
Scientists found those with the most worries suffered from only a single ailment later on, while those with the least angst had an average of eight.
The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health states: ‘Adolescents who worry more are also more likely to engage in health-promoting behaviour.’