Source Pravda.Ru

Teen health connected to happiness, study says

The larger amount positive relationships teenagers have family, friends, school activities, volunteer work the better their physical and mental health, according to a new Canadian study.

The research also challenges the notion that today's teens are cynical layabouts, showing that the vast majority are active in their communities, maintain strong, positive relationships with their parents, and are healthy and feel good about themselves as a result.

"This research points to the fact that everyone can make a difference in healthy youth development," said Dr. Richard Lessard, chairman of the Canadian Population Health Initiative Council.

"Parents, school, friends and community are all important in helping a young person realize his or her potential as a healthy young adult."

The study, published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, explores the association between five positive "assets" parental nurturing, parental monitoring, school engagement, volunteerism and peer connectedness and the health behaviors and outcomes of Canadian teens, reports the Globe and Mail.

The study suggested that the picture of teens as angst-ridden loners is a myth for most kids.

Seven of 10 teenagers 12 to 15 said they are involved in volunteer activities; a similar proportion reported a high level of engagement at school and eight in 10 said they are well connected with friends.

Nine in 10 reported low levels of anxiety and seven in 10 claimed a high sense of self-worth.

"This research points to the fact that everyone can make a difference in healthy youth development," said Dr. Richard Lessard, chair of the Canadian Population Health Initiative Council.

"Parents, school, friends and community are all important in helping a young person realize his or her potential as a healthy young adult."

More than half of the teens reported high levels of parental involvement and monitoring in their lives.

"Youth who feel nurtured by their parents and feel engaged in their school are less likely to say that they engage in risky behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, using marijuana and associating with peers who commit crimes," the survey said, informs Canada.com site.

P.T.