Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Helping Children And Teens Deal With Stress In An Uncertain Time

Date:
November 18, 2008
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
A psychologist whose research focuses on the relationship between psychological thriving and coping processes during major life transitions says that in these uncertain times, children of any age, including teens, need to be reassured that they are safe and will be cared for no matter how the family is faring.

As families across the country face losses of nest eggs, homes or jobs, their young children and teens need emotional support.

Child psychologist Michele C. Thorne, Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical psychology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and clinical director of the Consult Liaison Service at Riley Hospital for Children, says that parents should recognize that even newborn babies pick up on the emotional tones of adult stress. She says children of any age, including teens, need to be reassured that they are safe and will be cared for no matter how the family is faring.

Children, especially those prone to anxiety, will jump to conclusions and worry. Dr. Thorne says that if upheaval is occurring or is feared, it is better for children and teens to be prepared.

"Parents need to talk with their children and teens because they need time to adjust to changes. But parents also should censor what they say and shouldn't burden their children with adult worries and concerns," she said

That's because children aren't ready to be saddled with adult burdens. The frontal lobe, the part of the brain that handles planning, attention, concentration, and reasoning isn't fully developed until late adolescence or early adulthood. Or as Dr. Thorne puts it, the main onboard computer which directs how an individual makes decisions isn't fully programmed in children and teens.

She recommends weekly family meetings, especially when a family is going through a difficult time. For example, parents might say that Dad will be home more often because he isn't working and that he will need to use the computer because it helps him locate job leads or keep up with financial markets.

"It's best to talk with your children about what is going on and to explain the family's strategies for dealing with it," she said.

While parents want their children to know that they can ask questions or offer suggestions she counsels against involving children in decisions such as whether to move or how to handle situations outside their spheres of influence.

"You don't want to make your child or teen think you don't appreciate their advice so it's best not to solicit their opinions on things which they are unqualified to make a decision," she said.

As media headlines carry daily updates on the global economic crisis and broadcast news of possible recession, children and teens may be facing an information overload even if not directly affected. Dr. Thorne suggests that parents investigate what is being presented in their children's classrooms for guidance on discussions at home.

If a child appears to be having trouble coping with stress or appears anxious, parents should consult with the child's pediatrician or community mental health services or school counselor. Parents should also make sure they have their own emotional supports in place, which will provide them with the ability to best help their children.

Dr. Thorne's research focuses on the relationship between psychological thriving and coping processes during major life transitions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Helping Children And Teens Deal With Stress In An Uncertain Time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113181308.htm>.
Indiana University. (2008, November 18). Helping Children And Teens Deal With Stress In An Uncertain Time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113181308.htm
Indiana University. "Helping Children And Teens Deal With Stress In An Uncertain Time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081113181308.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) New Hampshire's governor declared a state of emergency after more than 40 overdoses of synthetic marijuana in one week throughout the state. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins