Shattering the myth that nice and quiet teenagers pose a danger sign

Professionals in psychology and psychiatry have long regarded them as a risk group. Parents have become anxious about how they will fare in adulthood. Now a long-term study shows that the concern for the shy and well-behaved teenagers has been unnecessary.

Girl sitting on a bench, reading a book

Photo: Shutterstock

It is the access to an almost unique data set that has made it possible to find out what the future holds for young people who never do anything wrong.

This will probably come as a surprise to several academic environments, and it will be good news for parents who worry about whether their child is too well-mannered and careful, says professor of sociology Willy Pedersen.

Willy Pedersen
Willy Pedersen

He is one of the researchers behind the study which is now published in the renowned journal Developmental Psychology. It is a result of the work of the research center PROMENTA at the University of Oslo, which focuses on mental health, substance use and quality of life.

Through the study Ung i Norge (Young in Norway) they have for almost 30 years followed a representative sample of people from when they were in their teens in 1992 until they are now just over 40 years old. As it turns out, those who did nothing wrong as teenagers, fared at least as well or even better than others.

Read more in an article on Shattering the myth that nice and quiet teenagers pose a danger sign

Read Willy Pedersen and colleagues' article (in Norwegian) in Aftenposten Viten: Hvordan går det med ungdom som aldri gjør noe galt?

Published Oct. 26, 2020 3:22 PM