From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Teens who feel good about themselves are more likely to grow into young adults who feel better about their health. The study analyzed data from more than 10,000 young people in grades 7 through 12 of the 1994-1995 school year, who were followed until 2001.

Lindsay Till Hoyt is at Northwestern University. 

“Positive well being is also associated with fewer risky health behaviors such as smoking and physical inactivity.”

Based on her findings, she thinks:

“It’s really important for parents and schools to promote positive characteristics such as self-esteem and optimism, and to provide social support during this time.”

The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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