From: The Washington Post

Teens taught that personality traits change in high school cope with depression better

The Washington Post:

THE QUESTION Research has shown that teens who have trouble with peer relationships, who feel excluded socially or who have low self-esteem are more likely than other teens to become depressed. If they were to learn that such situations, and the personality traits that drive them, could change, might this stem the onset of depression?

THIS STUDY involved 599 ninth-grade students, just starting high school. About 75 percent reported having experienced some physical, verbal or social aggression. The students were randomly assigned to participate in one of two classroom exercises during the first few weeks of school. One group studied how people’s personalities, including socially relevant characteristics, can change and how social adversities — such as being “a loser” or not likable, or being bullied — need not be permanent. The others studied athletic abilities. About eight months later, at the end of the school year, teens who had learned about the possibility of change in personalities and social situations were 40 percent less likely than the others to have symptoms of depression — negative mood, feelings of ineffectiveness and low self-esteem — even if they had been bullied.

Read the whole story: The Washington Post

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