Improving the mental health of adolescents may be as simple as appreciating their role in a family, according to a new study released by Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Young adults who felt valued by their family members at age 15 had higher self esteem, in comparison to other people in their demographic. These adolescents showed a reduced likelihood mental illness, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and of tobacco use by age 30.
The results were composed of data from the Simmons Longitudinal Study, the longest running study on mental health predictors.
“These results show that there are several aspects of teen-parent relationships that need to be targeted in work with families,” said Simmons professor Helen Reinherz.
The Simmons Longitudinal Study tracked approximately 400 participants starting in 1977 until today – most of the group analyzed are now in their 30s.
Low self-esteem and mental illnesses may lead to drug addiction or alcohol dependency. While it is important for families to support individuals through their teen years, there are options for those already struggling with addiction. Teen drug rehabilitation centers and addiction treatment centers can help individuals in need.