Family Perspectives


During the peak of adolescent development, teenagers experience a variety of influences that can either improve or exacerbate mental health. Specifically, the way in which an adolescent manages his or her emotions can greatly influence mental health stability. Emotional regulation can decrease the risk of experiencing depressive symptoms. Adolescents may learn how to manage their emotions through a variety of sources, but one of the most influential sources is likely to be their parents. When parents inflict negative philosophies and responses toward negatively expressed adolescent emotions, adolescents are more likely to learn unhealthy emotional regulation skills. Consequently, poor emotional regulation can increase the risk of experiencing depressive symptoms. On the other hand, supportive parental responses toward negative adolescent emotions can improve adolescent emotional management, which can subsequently decrease risk of depressive symptoms and improve overall well-being. Supportive responses can include warm responses and emotional coaching strategies to teach an adolescent how to manage his or her emotions. This literature review discusses both maladaptive and supportive parental responses on adolescent emotional well-being as well as the effects of such parenting on adolescent mental health, specifically depression. Better awareness of supportive and maladaptive parental techniques toward negative adolescent emotions and their consequences may help to improve overall adolescent mental health.

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