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

Teens' Peer Problems May Affect Health Later

Peer Problems in Teen Years Linked to Higher Risk of Metabolic Syndrome at 43, Researchers Find

Teen Peer Problems and Adult Health: Study Details continued...

"We haven't shown that to take peer problems away will make the problems [in adulthood] disappear," he says.

The link may be indirect, he says, even though they took into account other factors that increase the risk for metabolic syndrome. The peer problems, for example, may reflect problems in the family that play out at school.

The link between teen peer problems and later ill health was slightly stronger for women. "I think social support is more important for women than for men," he says.

Second Opinion

The findings are no surprise, says pediatrician Michael Yogman, MD. Yogman is a member of the AAP's committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health. He reviewed the findings for WebMD.

"We are now seeing increasing data about the crossover and intersection of environmental stress, which is referred to as toxic stress, and these long-term effects on metabolic and regulatory systems," he says.

"We think it has to do with the stress response, the fight-or-flight response," says Yogman, who is also chairman of the board of the Boston Children's Museum. "When that response is extreme in a sustained way, without any kind of support or buffer, it can reset blood pressure, sugar metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, very basic biological systems."

Siegel agrees. He says the link is probably tied with stress and the stress hormone cortisol, and their effects on the body.

"There is a difference between toxic stress, which is permanent and causes problems, and limited stress, which you can do something about," he says.

Teen Peer Problems: Tips for Parents

Parents can help their teens reduce peer problems and the stress it causes, the doctors say.

"The way to buffer stress is to be supportive," Yogman says. "If your child is isolated at school and doesn't have any friends, I think you need to intervene."

Parents should consider introducing their teens to activities they might enjoy, such as sports or music, he says. The goal is to improve their peer relations.

Communication is key, Siegel says. "Talk to your adolescents and see if you can be sensitive to the changes they are going through."

Be especially sensitive to those teens with weight problems, Siegel says. "Kids who are more obese go through more peer problems."

1 | 2

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