Hello There…

This is Laura Ferrer-Wreder – a participating researcher on the “Samspel och socialt klimat” research project.

Adolescent Storm and Stress, What’s it all About?
This blog post highlights a few ideas from a recent talk given at ABF Huset (in Stockholm) and at the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University. This talk was called: “The brighter sides of youth development”.

In the talk, the idea of adolescent storm and stress was explored. Storm and stress is an older idea and was popular with an American psychologist and scholar named G. Stanley Hall. Hall was one of the founders of the scientific study of adolescence.

Adolescent storm and stress suggests that most all adolescents will inevitably have problems – within themselves and/or with others. Another way of describing adolescent storm and stress is to say that: Being a teen inherently means one can expect (for all teens) a stormy psychological ride.

In the talk, a research example from a recent Swedish study and national statistics about Swedish adolescents were described. These empirical examples did not support adolescent storm and stress as inevitable or as a universal. In a nutshell, when faced with actual studies about how large numbers of teens are doing, the idea of a universal storm and stress does not help to explain or better understand the young person of today.

If Adolescent Storm and Stress is Problematic as an Idea,
What’s an Alternative?

The rest of the talk “on the brighter sides of youth development” focused on describing the new field of Positive Youth Development (PYD). Although there are many conceptualizations of what PYD should consist of, a good description can be found here.

Since the 1990s to the present, the PYD field has been taking shape and gaining ground within psychology and other fields like education and special education. The “Samspel och socialt klimat” research project is consistent with a strengths-based view of youth and also in concert with several ideas in the PYD field. The “Samspel och socialt klimat” project promises to advance what we can learn about classrooms and how they can serve as vital resources that support thriving and well-being in children and teachers.



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