Study: Young people crave affirmation and self-esteem the most
Teens value it over any other pleasurable activity or posession
When you tell a young person that they did a really good job or look nice, it's very important to them. According to a recent study, adolescents value self-esteem much more than they do sex, food, money and other pleasurable activities.
According to a recent study, adolescents value self-esteem much more than they do any pleasurable activity
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When you tell a young person that they did a good job or look nice, it's very important to them. According to a recent study, adolescents value self-esteem much more than they do other pleasurable activities.
Researchers from Ohio State University and Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York found that college students rated receiving compliments, or doing well on a test, above everything else.
Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, said the findings should raise red flags about the role of self-esteem in society.
"It wouldn't be correct to say that the study participants were addicted to self-esteem," Bushman says, who headed the research team. "But they were closer to being addicted to self-esteem than they were to being addicted to any other activity we studied."
Researchers say they were surprised by their findings."We purposely chose things that we thought college students love. Most of the participants were around 19. College students love drinking, they love sex. They are poor; they love money and getting a paycheck."
Experiences that boosted self-esteem trumped all other rewards, according to the study. In fact, the findings suggest that many young people may be a little too focused on pumping up their self-esteem.
"I think that people are looking for a quick fix to complex problems," he explained. "We see it as a cure-all to every social ill, from teen pregnancy to violence. People think that if only we feel better about ourselves, these things would not happen."
Students rated the activities both on how much they liked them, and how much they wanted them. The results showed they liked pleasant activities more than they wanted them, which is healthy, according to Bushman -- but the difference between liking and wanting self-esteem was the narrowest.
"The liking-wanting distinction has occupied an important place in addiction research," Scott Moeller, of Brookhaven National Laboratory and a co-author of the study says. "But we believe it has great potential to inform other areas of psychology as well."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Teenagers, self-esteem, pleasure
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