Mentally Stepping Back from Problems Helps Youth Deal with Negative Emotions


Adolescence is a time of frequent and intense emotional experiences, but some youth handle their emotions better than others. Why do some young people react adaptively while others ruminate? A new study of adolescents shows that youth who mentally take a step back from their own point of view when thinking about something troubling can deal with negative emotions more effectively and become less upset by them.


The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan, appears in the journal  Child Development.

The researchers looked at 226 African American 11- to 20-year-olds from an urban public school in Washington, D.C., asking them about a recent event that made them extremely angry (such as a fight). The youth then reflected on their experiences and why they felt angry, then told researchers about how they felt and thought about the experiences.

Socially Anxious Youth in Treatment can Enhance Recovery Through Simple Service Tasks


This century's increase in addiction issues among U.S. youth may be related to their developmental need to fit in, particularly youth with social anxiety disorder (SAD), which could exacerbate the drink/trouble cycle. In addition, socially anxious youths may avoid participating in therapeutic activities during treatment for fear of negative peer appraisal. A study of the influence of SAD on clinical severity at intake, peer helping in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) during treatment, and subsequent outcomes has found that almost half of the patients entering treatment had a persistent fear of social humiliation, however, helping others through service activities greatly aided their recovery.


Results will be published in the May 2015 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

Staff Highlight


Kris Cary, 

Academic Director


Kris Cary has been the Academic Director of White River Academy since December 2006. He focuses on the academic process, delivery, content, and course application for White River Academy. His primary responsibilities are to review each student's transcript, create an appropriate academic curriculum, and represent White River Academy for its academic accreditation. Kris received a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Alternative Education from Prescott College in June 2009. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from West Texas A & M University in December 1994. He has worked with at-risk youth for over 16 years. His professional experience includes working in group homes for adjudicated males, males in self-contained classrooms, and those who are participating in credit recovery programs. Kris has also coached various recreational and high school sports. Kris' interests include any type of sports, camping, and working with youth. Two of Kris' proudest accomplishments include being named a 1989 NCAA All-American in the 3000 meter Steeple Chase and serving as a Scout Master in the Boy Scouts of America program. Kris also enjoys spending time with his wife and family. Kris's personal philosophy is: "People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care." 

Unleashing 'The Mindful Teen' to Thrive Amid Stress and Adversity by Dzung X. VO


Managing stress is difficult and a learned skill. As a teenager, stress can take an even greater emotional and mental toll. Teenagers are trying hard to find their true identity while going through the social obstacles of fitting in, peer pressure and bullying, not to mention navigating the physical changes that occur during the teenage years. Prom, dating, getting into college and trying to fit in are a lot to worry about. Acknowledging that the teenage years are difficult for anyone and practicing a popular concept known as mindfulness will help the teenager learn to be at ease with the many stressors that will come along during this developmental period.


Discovering mindfulness



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