The teen years can be a challenging time. But new research shows there may be a simple way to make it better: change the stereotypes!
Scientists conducted two studies that included 443 seventh graders living in China. The teens were divided into a control and intervention group. Kids in the control group talked about typical teen behaviors. Those in the intervention group read materials that told them the media’s negative stereotypes of teens are incorrect.
The students were asked to come up with three examples of responsible behavior that they had observed in teens in the intervention group. The counter-stereotyping group were more likely to have positive views of other teens, perform better academically and engage in less risky behavior over the next three days.
This suggests that the way that teens perceive the adolescent years could affect how they act, proving perception really does become reality.
Here’s some encouraging news: teen pregnancy, recreational drug use, and smoking rates have declined in recent years. What statistic is up though? The number of teens who volunteer regularly.