Teens' mental health linked to parents' understanding of daily challenges

Posted on October 16, 2014

New research suggests the better a parent understands the daily experiences of their teen, the better the mental health of the teen. Moreover, having a parent who “gets” a teen’s daily life may influence the way a teen’s body responds to stress on a cellular level, improving physical health.

Results from the research show that when parents and teens generally agree as to whether they had a good (or not so good) day together, the teens had better psychological adjustment.

Accurate perceptions by parents of a teens positivity were also associated with greater glucocorticoid sensitivity. This means that the teens immune cells were more sensitive to anti-inflammatory signals from cortisol. Immune responses to stress are thought to be an important link between harsh family environments and physical health.

In summary, how well parents understand their adolescents’ day-to-day experiences may play a unique role in both adolescent psychological functioning and glucocorticoid sensitivity. These results provide preliminary evidence that parental accuracy regarding their adolescent’s daily experiences may be one specific daily parent factor that plays a role in adolescent health and well-being.

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Source material from Psych Central

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