Navigation Links
Study: Altruistic adolescents less likely to become depressed
Date:4/24/2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. It is better to give than to receive at least if you're an adolescent and you enjoy giving, a new study suggests.

The study found that 15- and 16-year-olds who find pleasure in pro-social activities, such as giving their money to family members, are less likely to become depressed than those who get a bigger thrill from taking risks or keeping the money for themselves.

The researchers detail their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study focused on the ventral striatum, a brain region that regulates feelings of pleasure in response to rewards. Previous research has shown that ventral striatum activity tends to be more pronounced in adolescence, suggesting that people at this age experience the pleasure of rewards more intensely than younger children or adults.

Adolescence also is a time of heightened risk-taking, which may be related to young people's increased sensitivity to rewards, said University of Illinois psychology professor Eva Telzer, who led the research.

"There's this trend where from childhood to adolescence, morbidity and mortality rates increase 200 to 300 percent, and it's almost entirely due to these preventable risk-taking behaviors," she said.

Depressive symptoms also tend to increase during this time, she said.

Using a functional brain scan, the researchers measured ventral striatum activity in adolescents who engaged in tasks that involved either giving money to others, keeping the money or making risky financial decisions in the hope of earning a reward. The team tested the subjects' depressive symptoms initially and at the end of a year.

The researchers found that activity in the ventral striatum in response to different rewards predicted whether the subjects' depressive symptoms would worsen or lessen over time.

"If they show higher levels of reward activation in the ventral striatum in the context of the risk-taking task, they show increases in depressive symptoms over time," said Telzer, who also is a professor in the Beckman Institute at Illinois. "And if they show higher reward activation in the pro-social context, they show declines in depression.

"This study suggests that if we can somehow redirect adolescents away from risk-taking or self-centered rewards and toward engaging in these more pro-social behaviors, then perhaps that can have a positive impact on their well-being over time," she said.

Previous studies have focused most on negative outcomes linked to ventral striatum activation and risk-taking in adolescence, Telzer said. The new findings demonstrate that ventral striatum activation also may have a positive role in the adolescent brain. The social context within which a young person feels rewarded may matter more than the feeling itself at least in terms of his or her mental health and sense of well-being over time, she said.

"What's exciting about this is that the very same area of the brain can predict both detriments to well-being and protection of well-being," Telzer said. "It depends on the context in which it's happening."

The study team included researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles.


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. IU study: Death of public figures provides important opportunities for health education
2. UT Dallas study: Youth who fail to envision future commit more crimes
3. Fruitfly study: Epilepsy drug target implications for sleep disruption in brain disorders
4. IU, Regenstrief study: New noninvasive colorectal cancer screening tool highly accurate
5. Study: MLB pitchers dont regain performance level after Tommy John surgery
6. Study: Resilience in parents of children undergoing stem cell transplant
7. U of Maryland study: Partnership may help address cancer, health disparities
8. Study: Oropharyngeal cancer on the rise in young adults
9. Johns Hopkins study: Traumatic spinal cord injuries on the rise in US
10. Regenstrief, IU study: Half of hospitalized adults over 65 need surrogate decision-makers
11. Study: Possible new druggable target in Ewings Sarcoma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study: Altruistic adolescents less likely to become depressed
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists , led by the Wharton ... business and economic issues.  This one-day program at the Wharton School’s San ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... An ... all U.S. states and certain Canadian provinces is now available from the International ... Institute (WCRI). , The report, Workers’ Compensation Laws as of January ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Dubuque, IA (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 ... ... his insurance agency’s ongoing community enrichment program serving families of greater Dubuque, IA. ... area’s active duty, reserve and honorably discharged veterans. Donations to Veteran’s Freedom Center ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Benjamin Stong of ... hair loss treatment. Dr. Stong is double board certified and the only facial ... the treatment of hair loss. Non-surgical therapies such as stem cells can be used ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... YORK, New York) , ... (PRWEB) May 05, 2016 , ... ... with healthcare talent acquisition startup, HireNurses, on the eve of National Nurses Week ... job seeking nurses and healthcare employers. With their enrollment into the Talent Tech Lab ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... has acquired a major investment from Sino-German High-Tech Fund to further expand product development, strengthen its disease modeling capabilities ... ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Ore. , May 3, 2016   ... medical technology, today announced Food and Drug Administration ... resynchronization defibrillator that provides heart failure patients with ... Iperia devices also have remote monitoring with daily ... adapts the heart rate in response to physiological ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...   Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that it is celebrating Hepatitis Awareness Month ... patients who tell their personal story and encourage those at risk to get tested and ... C ... ... Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy (PRNewsFoto/Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: