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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993 Jul;50(7):585-9.

Sending your teenagers away. Controlled stress decreases neurotic vulnerability.

Author information

  • 1Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety Disorders, University of New South Wales, Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the effect of a controlled stressor on the rate of personality maturity.

DESIGN:

Eighteen-month prospective controlled study.

SETTING:

General community.

INTERVENTION:

EXPERIMENTAL:

Exposed to the stress of 12 months' intercultural experience.

CONTROL:

Remained in usual environment.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

A measure of personality vulnerability/maturity derived from a canonical correlational combination of trait anxiety, locus of control, and defense style.

RESULTS:

Exchange students exposed to the stressor made significantly greater gains in personality maturity (0.28 vs 0.03 SD: P < or = .01) than did the control students matched on this measure at baseline.

CONCLUSION:

Exchange students exposed to the stress of living abroad showed a substantial decrease in vulnerability, which should decrease the risk of future neurotic disorders in this group.

PMID:
8317952
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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