Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teenage Stress - Implications for Adult Health

We all know that stress affects us. We see its effects in our clear (or not) thinking, our shorter fuses, our tired bodies at the end of the day. We also figure our kids are resilient and can get through a lot of what life doles out. However, here's an alert for its long-term affects on our youth.

A new study through UCLA (Andrew J. Fuligni and colleagues) has shown that normal teens who reported negative interpersonal interactions (with family, friends, or school personnel), experienced stress that not only affected their psychological state, but were associated with higher levels of an inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein, CRP). CRP has been associated with developing cardiovascular disease later in life. 

Mark Wheeler from UCLA writes the results suggest "the association of interpersonal stress with inflammation exists regardless of individual teens' psychological appraisal of stressful experiences or any tendency to be particularly sensitive to social rejection." 

Go to the UCLA Newsroom website http://newsroom.ucla.edu "Teenage Stress Has Implications for Adult Health" for the full article.

What to do? Arm your kid with stress-busting practices such as the "balloon breath," a basic form of meditation. Meditation has been shown to be a great antidote to the stresses of modern life. You'll be able to read more about this and other transformational tips in my upcoming book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success, being published by Perigee/Penguin NY August 4th (www.amazon.com for preorders).

Dr. Charlotte

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