Main point: Researchers introduced a program, DeStress for Success Program, to decrease the stress among teenagers.
“In 2000, our team showed that during the transition from elementary to secondary school, many young people produce high levels of stress hormones. Following this discovery, we wanted to test whether an educational program based on our current knowledge of stress would decrease the level of stress hormones and depressive symptoms in teenagers and help facilitate this transition,” said Sonia Lupien, lead author of the study.
Researchers in this study presented the DeStress for Success Program to 504 students in the age range of 11 to 13. They measured the cortisol levels, which are the stress hormones, in the saliva and depressive symptoms of the children while they were presented the program.
The program worked well as the researchers found the lowered levels of stress hormones in the adolescents, who started secondary school high levels of anger. Researchers reported that the adults, who were presented this program, were 2.45 times less at risk to suffer from depression than the other children.
“This study provides the first evidence that a stress education program is effective in reducing stress hormone levels and depressive symptoms among adolescents making the transition to high school,” says Pierrich Plusquellec, co-author of the study.
“This study provides the first evidence that a school-based program on stress is effective at decreasing cortisol levels and depressive symptomatology in adolescents making the transition to high school and it helps explain which adolescents are sensitive to the program and what are some of the characteristics of these individuals.” Researchers reported.
Lupien, S., Ouellet-Morin, I., Trépanier, L., Juster, R., Marin, M., Francois, N., Sindi, S., Wan, N., Findlay, H., Durand, N., Cooper, L., Schramek, T., Andrews, J., Corbo, V., Dedovic, K., Lai, B., & Plusquellec, P. (2013). The DeStress for Success Program: Effects of a stress education program on cortisol levels and depressive symptomatology in adolescents making the transition to high school Neuroscience DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.01.057