Asking youth about substance use does not make it more likely: New research

Posted by Kim Eckart Researchers report finding no evidence that discussing drug and alcohol use with preteens encourages them to try drugs or drinking. The study focused on school-based surveys of fifth- and sixth-graders to determine whether their behaviors changed over time. The research team found that, among two groups of students—one surveyed in fifth […]

New research highlights role for mentors in improving work outcomes for individuals with disabilities

Written by Justin Preston Family and close friends play an integral role in helping people with childhood-onset disabilities attain quality employment as adults, a new study from Oregon State University has found. However, not everyone has an extensive family network available to them. In such a context, a mentor can help bridge the gap and […]

New research: Mentees’ academic self-belief linked to better academic performance

Posted by Jared Wadley When kids believe they can achieve success in math and reading, they are more likely to achieve high test scores in those subjects, new research suggests. Researchers used two US data sets—with one being a nationally represented study—and one UK data set to measure self-concept and standardized assessments of early and […]

Six factors that promote intellectual engagement and foster your mentee’s potential

Written by Justin Preston In a recent article published in Human Development, researchers outlined a series of six factors of intellectual engagement that they argue, when present across all stages of life, can help to maintain and even spur cognitive growth. Cognitive growth, or the continuing development of cognitive faculties such as creativity and skill […]

Youths’ belief in upward mobility challenged: New research and what mentors and programs can do

Posted by Hilary Hurd Anyaso, New research suggests high school and college students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds have less drive to overcome academic hardships when they harbor doubts about the odds of people with similar backgrounds achieving upward economic mobility. Three new studies extend previous research demonstrating that low-SES students who see […]

New study identifies a more user-friendly empathic practice: Implications for mentors

Posted by Bert Gambini Advising someone to “walk a mile in their shoes” as a way to get them to empathize with others may be bad advice for their emotional health, according to a new study. “That’s because there are two routes to empathy and one of them is more personally distressing and upsetting than […]

Self-stigma: An added burden in mental health problems

Moses, T. (2010). Adolescent mental health consumers’ self-stigma: Associations with parents’ and adolescents’ illness perceptions and parental stigma. Journal of Community Psychology, 38(6), 781-798. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20395 Summarized by Jessica Cunningham Background: Previous studies have shown that mental illness is highly stigmatized in the United States, but little research has been done on predictors of self-stigmatization […]

Many Americans have difficulty recognizing signs of mental illness

Posted by Andy Henion Many Americans have trouble recognizing the signs of anxiety and substance abuse, a new national survey on mental-health literacy suggests. “Our work is designed to help communities think about how to address behavioral health challenges as they emerge, whether that’s drug abuse, anxiety, or other issues, and the challenges such as suicide […]

Diversity training can help, but it needs to be sustained

Posted by Matthew Biddle Diversity training programs at work can build awareness of cultural differences, but often fall short at changing attitudes and behaviors. Published in Psychological Bulletin, the study finds diversity training can be successful—but that results vary widely based on the content and length of training and whether it was accompanied by other […]

Depression in adolescents trending upward, research shows

Mojtabai, R., Olfson, M., & Han, B. (2016). National trends in the prevalence and treatment of depression in adolescents and young adults. Pediatrics 138(6). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-1878. Summarized by Justin Preston     Introduction The risk of developing depression rises sharply once children reach adolescence. Surveys of a nationwide sample of adolescents between the ages of […]