Sharing – Positive Childhood Experiences Protect Against Depression in Teens

I’ve seen this from several studies now, and it makes sense. If adverse childhood experiences increase the chances of poor mental and physical health outcomes, then positive childhood experiences with the opposite effect give us hope that we can make a difference in kids’ lives by creating more of those.

Importantly, positive childhood experiences were associated with better mental health and well-being even for youth who experienced adverse childhood experiences. Positive childhood experiences include being supported by friends, feeling that their family stands by them during difficult times, feeling a sense of belonging to their community and being safe and protected by an adult in their home.

So many people want to know how to either protect their kids from adverse experiences or, when that is beyond their control, how to mitigate the risks. Look at that list above. It’s all about the support and community kids grow up with.

I have often said the best defense against childhood sexual abuse is raising kids who have open, supportive adults in their lives because they aren’t as vulnerable and easily manipulated. It turns out those same relationships are improving their mental well-being, too. Let’s do more of that.


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