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Teenage strops and mood swings are normal

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Throughout our teenage years we learn how to cope with and channel our emotions, and of course we all know that we’re more prone to throwing strops and sulking. A study has confirmed that these mood swings during teenage years are completely normal. Most of the time, these mood swings will disappear around the age of 18, however if the mood swings continue this may be cause for concern.


Though anger, sadness and happiness all grow more stable over time, here is one exception to the rule: anxiety. The researchers believe that the pressure of being 18, searching for a job or applying to university, will cause anxiety to continue.

Stabilize moods

Dr Hans Koot of VU University Amsterdam said: ‘we found that early adolescence is the period of the greatest volatility, but adolescents gradually stabilize in their moods.

‘An important message to teens, parents, and teachers is that temporary mood swings during early adolescence might actually be normal and aren’t necessarily a reason to worry.’

Mood swing study

There were 474 teenagers involved in the study, all aged between 13 and 18. They were asked to keep online diaries rating their moods over the space of three weeks for five years. Almost every adolescent was from a family where one parent had a medium or high-skilled job.Helping shy teenagers

Girls were found to have ‘higher variability’ when it came to happiness and sadness, but the change rate was similar in both genders. As time passed, anger, happiness and sadness all became more stable, with arguments with parents reducing as the teens aged.

They grow out of it

Dominique Maciejewski, of VU University Amsterdam said: ‘In general, heightened mood variability will eventually pass.

‘By demonstrating that most teens get less moody across adolescence, our study provides a solid basis for identifying adolescents who develop in a deviant way. In particular, teens who continue to be extremely moody or who get even moodier across adolescence may need to be monitored more closely since earlier studies have shown that extreme mood swings are related to more emotional, behavioural, and interpersonal problems.’





About Siobhan Harmer

About Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan Harmer is an English Freelance writer who drinks far too much coffee!!

Website: Siobhan Harmer

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