How to improve adolescent stress responses: Insights from integrating implicit theories of personality and biopsychosocial models

Authors: David S. Yeager, Hae Yeon Lee, and Jeremy P. Jamieson

Journal: Psychological Science

Stressors arising from negative social experiences can lead to wide range of negative physiological and behavioral responses. In this article, Yeager and colleagues test whether training youth to understand that people have the potential to change their socially relevant traits would lead them to be more successful in overcoming challenges. In two contexts, they tested whether youth who learned about an incremental theory of personality would have reduced physiological stress response and improved behavioral outcomes compared to peers who received no training. In both settings, youth who had learned that social traits were modifiable experienced less physical signs of stress and had improved performance on a laboratory task and in overall academic performance. This paper highlights the value of translating developmental contexts into real-world interventions.

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