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.’

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