Guest Post: The Challenge of Prosperity

Today's guest post concerns the work of Dr. Cheryl Rampage, Senior Vice President for Programs and Academic Affairs at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. She has shown how a family's being financially well off can at times actually increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse in their children.Cheryl Rampage, Ph.DWhen we think of wealth, we often think of all the opportunities and perks that come with it. However, the common misconception that wealth is the solution to all of our problems is negated by recent research that shows while money can give children a head start in life, it can actually impede on their personal and emotional growth as they get older. In fact, adolescents who come from a wealthy household are 20 to 30 percent more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than other teens. But there are ways to combat it. Cheryl Rampage's Counseling@Northwestern’s paper, “The Challenge of Prosperity: Affluence and Psychological Distress Among Adolescents,” sheds light on this issue—and ways to address it. While her research shows that prosperity can impose psychological distress on youth, parents and guardians can step in by following best practices. According to Dr. Rampage, parents can mitigate the risks of wealth by providing structure at home, unconditional love and consistent communication with their adolescents. The infographic below illustrates the ways in which affluence affects children’s mental health in early childhood and adolescence and what parents can do to positively contribute to children’s overall development.Learn more about the challenges of wealth and prosperity from an infographic. It is shown below and available in a larger image at http://counseling.northwestern.edu/mental-health-of-affluent-teens-the-challenge-of-prosperity/:Brought to you by Counseling@Northwestern’s Online Masters in Counseling

 
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