How Teens Cope With Stress
Being a teenager is not easy. Sometimes it involves a lot of
juggling. Trying to manage demands at school, home and from
friends can be very stressful and even overwhelming sometimes.
To help teens how to handle stress and stay focused, parents
should encourage their teens to budget their time, eat and
sleep well, exercise, and ask for help every time they require
The winners of the Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES)
Competition, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
and the College Board, investigated both positive and negative
ways of responding to stress. Natalia Nazarewicz of Oak
Ridge, Tenn., and Aman Prasad of Pocatello, Idaho, performed
both studies. This
investigation was conducted as a way to find out how teens cope
with stress. The
results were very surprising.
Nazarewicz surveyed more than one thousand high school students
in the Oak Ridge area on the practice of deliberate self-harm,
like cutting or burning their skin. She discovered that twenty
six percent of the students reported they had deliberately hurt
themselves as a minimum once. The survey showed that
self-harm was regularly a response to teen stress and that
twice as many girls as boys had resorted to such
actions. "I talked
with several high-school guidance counselors and student
advisors after my research was completed and they were shocked
by the scope of the problem," said Nazarewicz.
For his project, Prasad conducted a survey that he said
suggests that physical activity might help teens alleviate the
negative causes of minor mood disorders. He surveyed 800 ninth and
tenth grade students from three different schools about how
much physical activity they engaged in every week and measured
the students' mood by asking each one of them to assess how
optimistic and how aggressive he or she felt.
On average, he found that students who exercised at a rate of
three or more days a week reported being in a better mood than
students who did not exercise. Therefore, this investigation
is a good indication which may reveal that exercising reduces
stress on teens.