Origi Post 7mindsets.com | Re-Post Sports World 9/22/2015
Depression is ten times more prevalent today than it was in 1960, and the average onset age is now 14.5 years old vs. 29.6 years of age just 50 years ago. For any parent or teacher, this is a terrifying trend. As a culture, we’re vastly more depressed, and it’s starting much, much younger.
Over the past decade, I’ve learned quite a bit about youth depression in our youth, and the most notable factor behind it is disengagement. Our children, for one reason or another, are checking out, and their feelings of powerlessness are driving increased negativity and depression.
Because students lack confidence in their own abilities, as well as in the people and support structures around them, seemingly small challenges can lock them up and start the downward spiral. Many psychologists and educators believe that Resilience, the ability to deal with overcoming adversity, is the antidote to the depression epidemic that’s facing our nation today.
In our work, we often measure the impact of our programs through their ability to impact student Resilience. Using a tool called The Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents, we measure three areas:
- Sense of mastery, which tracks optimism, self-efficacy, and adaptability (essentially one’s confidence in their own abilities).
- Sense of relatedness, which measures trust, support, comfort and tolerance (one’s confidence in the people and support structures around them).
- Emotional reactivity, the measurement of sensitivity, recovery and impairment – this area looks at a person’s ability to make effective decisions under stress and to bounce back and recover from mistakes.
As we look to build our children’s confidence levels, it’s helpful to be prepared with strategies that are certain to increase their self-confidence, bolster their belief in those around them, and support their ability to make good decisions and recover from adversity.