Lingering negative responses to stress linked with health a decade later

People whose negative emotional responses to stress carry over to the following day are more likely to report health problems and physical limitations later in life compared with peers who are able to “let it go,” according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Our research shows that negative emotions that linger after even minor, daily stressors have important implications for our long-term physical health,” says psychological scientist Kate Leger of the University of California, Irvine.

“When most people think of the types of stressors that impact health, they think of the big things, major life events that severely impact their lives, such as the death of a loved one or getting divorced,” Leger says. “But accumulating findings suggest that it’s not just the big events, but minor, everyday stressors that can impact our health as well.”

Full story at Science Daily

Helping others dampens effects of everyday stress

Providing help to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers can mitigate the impact of daily stressors on our emotions and our mental health, according to new research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Our research shows that when we help others we can also help ourselves,” explains study author Emily Ansell of the Yale University School of Medicine. “Stressful days usually lead us to have a worse mood and poorer mental health, but our findings suggest that if we do small things for others, such as holding a door open for someone, we won’t feel as poorly on stressful days.”

We often turn to others for social support when we’re feeling stressed, but these new results suggest that proactively doing things for others may be another effective strategy for coping with everyday worries and strains.

Full story helping others to reduce stress at Science Daily

Teens who mature early at greater risk of depression

Youth who enter puberty ahead of their peers are at heightened risk of depression, although the disease develops differently in girls than in boys, a new study suggests.

Early maturation triggers an array of psychological, social-behavioral and interpersonal difficulties that predict elevated levels of depression in boys and girls several years later, according to research by led by psychology professor Karen D. Rudolph at the University of Illinois.

Rudolph and her colleagues measured pubertal timing and tracked levels of depression among more than 160 youth over a four-year period. During their early teenage years, the youth in the study completed annual questionnaires and interviews that assessed their psychological risk factors, interpersonal stressors and coping behaviors. Parents also reported on their children’s social relationships and difficulties.

Full story of teens and depression risk at Science Daily