Science Daily reports that more and more teens are displaying signs of poor mental health. “We know that these disorders are associated with a plethora of negative consequences,” says Dr. Patricia Conrod of the University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre.

In order to counter this, Conrod and a team of researchers explored how well interventions could reduce the risk and occurrence of mental health disorders in teens. They evaluated student participants through a personality scale to see how at risk they were for negative behavioral symptoms, such as "impulsitivity, hopelessness, anxiety sensitivity, and sensation-seeking." The students then attended two 90-minute sessions that taught them how to recognize triggers and manage personality profiles while exchanging real-life scenarios and experiences. They were also given questionnaires every six months during the two-year trial so the researchers could monitor their progress.

The trial yielded significant results: students showed up to to 26 percent reduction in severe depression, anxiety, and conduct problems. Those who had high impulsitivity scores lowered their risk of developing behavioral problems by 36 percent; those with high anxiety sensitivity lowered their risk of developing severe anxiety issues by 33 percent; while those with high hopelessness scores lowered their risk of developing depressive symptoms by 23 percent.

This highlights the importance of open communication lines between you and your adolescent child. Although you may get your share of complaints and rants, try your best to be both patient and firm. Talking to your teen and giving her the chance to share her experiences with her friends may help her steer clear of depression and other mental issues.

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(Photo by Irelynkiss via Flickr Creative Commons)

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