NPR

Helping Strangers May Help Teens' Self-Esteem

Adolescents are under more pressure than ever, and many suffer from depression and anxiety. But new research suggests that volunteering to help strangers makes them feel better about themselves.
When teens step out of their comfort zone to help people they don't know, they feel confident. Source: Hero Images

At the start of the new year, parents may encourage their teens to detox from social media, increase exercise, or begin a volunteer project. While kids may bristle at the thought of posting fewer selfies, surveys indicate 55 percent of adolescents enjoy volunteering. And according to a recent study, when it comes to helping others, teens may benefit psychologically from spending time helping strangers.

The study, published in December in the, suggests that altruistic behaviors, including large and small acts of kindness,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Marium, The Dugong That Charmed Thailand, Dies After Ingesting Plastic
Marium became an internet hit as people marveled over videos of her being cared for by scientists in Thailand. An autopsy revealed plastic pieces in her intestines.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Suicide Bomber Kills 63, Injures 182 At Wedding Reception In Kabul
More than 1,000 people had gathered at a hall in a Shiite neighborhood to celebrate a wedding. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack Sunday.
NPR10 min read
My Grandfather, A Killer
Denise Guerra, a second-generation Filipino American, never met her grandfather. When she finally learned a long-held family secret, it shattered her view of the quintessential immigrant narrative.