Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Give Teens a Break, Say Researchers

Too Many Studies Focus on Teens' Woes, Ignore Positive Traits
WebMD Health News

Jan. 21, 2005 -- Teens often get a bad rap, and Richard Lerner, PhD, wants to change that. It's time to focus on teenagers' positive traits, not just their flaws, says the Tufts University researcher and his colleagues.

You've probably heard over and over again about the dark side of adolescence. Many studies of teens focus on scary topics like drug abuse, smoking, crime, school drop-out rates, and teen pregnancy. When good news comes along, it's usually just the flip side of something bad, such as fewer teenagers using illicit drugs or getting pregnant.

Those studies are certainly important, but they're not the whole picture.

"What we're doing is changing the way Americans look at teenagers, and focusing on the strengths and successes of this population," says Lerner in a news release. "For the first time, we're asking the positive questions instead of the negative ones."

The focus should be more toward the concept that every youth has the potential for successful, healthy development and that all youths possess the capacity for positive development, writes Lerner.

Tracking Positive Traits

Working with a $2.3 million grant from the National 4-H Council, Lerner's team is studying positive development in adolescence. Their first report appears in February's Journal of Early Adolescence.

Participants were 1,700 fifth graders in 13 states. More than 1,100 of their parents also joined in.

About 58% of the students were white, 18% were Hispanic, and 8% were black. The other students included Native Americans (4%), Asian-Americans or Pacific Islanders (3%), and multiethnic or multiracial youth (nearly 6%).

Most students came from families earning at least $45,000 per year. The biggest group -- almost 29% -- came from families with annual incomes of more than $80,000.

The 5 C's

The study focused on five traits for positive youth development:

  • Competence -- a positive view of one's actions
  • Confidence -- an internal sense of overall self-worth and efficacy
  • Character -- respect for society and cultural rules
  • Connection -- positive bonds with people and institutions
  • Caring (or compassion) -- a sense of sympathy and empathy for others

They're called the 5 C's, for short.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd