Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English

Helping Strangers Can Help Teens Have More Confidence

Researchers found that teenagers who exhibited prosocial behavior -- such as helping, sharing and comforting -- toward strangers had higher self-esteem.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:December 26, 2017, 2:47 PM IST
Helping Strangers Can Help Teens Have More Confidence
Helping others could help teenagers boost their self-esteem. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ mangostock/ IStock.com)

The season of goodwill is upon us, and new research shows that for teenagers, helping others could improve their self-esteem during the sometimes difficult period of adolesnce.

Carried out by researchers at Brigham Young University, USA, and Xinyuan Fu, Central University of Finance and Economics, China, the longitudinal study looked at 681 adolescents age 11-14 years in two US cities over a four-year time period.

The participants were asked to respond to 10 statements such as "I feel useless at times" or "I am satisfied with myself" to assess self-esteem, with the team measuring prosocial behavior and various aspects of kindness and generosity using statements such as "I help people I don't know, even if it's not easy for me" or "I go out of my way to cheer up my friends" or "I really enjoy doing small favors for my family."

The team found that teenagers who exhibited prosocial behavior -- such as helping, sharing and comforting -- toward strangers had higher self-esteem a year later.

However, the same was not true for those who exhibited prosocial behavior only to friends and family.

"This study helps us to understand that young people who help those with whom they do not have a relationship report feeling better about themselves over time," commented professor Laura Padilla-Walker, one of the co-authors of the study, "Given the importance of self-esteem during the teen years, this is an important finding. It suggests there might be something about helping strangers that impacts one's moral identity or perceptions of self in a more significant way than helping friends or family members, although these are beneficial behaviors as well."

Padilla-Walker has worked on previous studies also looking at prosocial behavior, which found that teenagers who show these positive behaviors are less likely to be in trouble and have better relationships with their family.

However, this is the first time she has found an association between pro-social behavior and self-esteem.

Padilla-Walker now suggests that parents encouraging teens to help others could be a way of helping them boost their confidence, self-respect and self-worth during what can be a difficult period of self-exploration.

"For teens who sometimes have a tendency to focus on themselves, parents can help by providing opportunities for their children to help and serve others who are less fortunate," Padilla-Walker said.

"It is best if teens can directly see the benefit of their help on others. This can increase gratitude in young people and help them to focus less on their own problems."

The findings can be found published online in the Journal of Adolescence.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months. Use code FREEDOM.

| Edited by: Manila Venugopal
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results