Weather, Moods and Teens
A new study in the journal of Emotion found that, in fact, for many of us the weather does affect our mood.
MSNBC.com comments on the study reporting that researchers examined adolescents and their mothers and out of 500 participants found that indeed there was a “Summer Loving” group that appeared happier and less fearful on hotter days and more anxious on cooler ones. In contrast there was also a “Summer Hating” group that felt most comfortable and less angry or fearful on days with more hours of precipitation.
An interesting aspect of the study, according to Dr Tom Frijns, a psychologist and co- author of the study, is that a third group was also identified labeled “Rain Haters”. These people were angrier and less happy on rainy days.
Dr. Frijns and his colleagues also found that “weather reactivity” runs in families. That is if a parent has a penchant for summer weather then their offspring is more likely to have the same penchant.
In a related article, reported by Science Daily it is implicitly implied that weather can affect criminal behavior.
This article delineates that overall happiness can discourage teen crime. As the above mentioned study suggests depending on your particular affinity, weather can make a person happier or angrier and in turn more aggressive.
This recent study from UC Davis purports that happy teenagers are less involved with high risk behaviors such as non violent-crimes and drug use in comparison to their “unhappy” peers.
Bill McCarthy, a psychologist at UC Davis, states, “In addition to their other benefits, programs and policies that increase childhood and adolescent happiness may have a notable effect on deterring nonviolent crime and drug use.”
The reason for this, suggested by the study’s findings, was that adolescents’ choices related to crime seem to center on either reflective thought that discourages offending, or negative emotions – like anger or rage – that contribute to it. The findings were taken from a group of 15, 000 seventh-to-ninth grade students.
“We hypothesize that the benefits of happiness – from strong bonds with others, a positive self-image and the development of socially valued cognitive and behavioral skills – reinforce a decision-making approach that is informed by positive emotions,” the study’s authors commented.