Early Relationships Influence Teen Pain and Depression
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2009 Nov 27
Angst could be more than a rite of passage for insecure teenagers, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain. Researchers from the Université de Montréal, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and McGill University have discovered that insecure adolescents experience more intense pain in the form of frequent headaches, abdominal pain and joint pain. These teens are also more likely to be depressed than peers with secure attachments.
Dr. Isabelle Tremblay, a researcher at the Université de Montréal and its affiliated Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, and Dr. Michael Sullivan, a psychology professor at McGill University, launched this study to build on previous findings that childhood experiences play a major role in the relationships people develop in later life. Simply put: insecure infants grow up to be insecure adolescents, and later, insecure adults.
"Although previous studies in adults found that an individual's security level was influenced by painful experiences, it was not clear why relationship security should be related to pain," says Dr. Tremblay. "We found that adolescents with insecure relationships tend to be more 'alarmist' about their pain symptoms; they have a tendency to amplify the degree of threat or severity of their pain. This amplification leads to more intense pain and more severe depressive symptoms."
Source: Science Daily