Social capital is the number of human connections an individual has in their social network. It represents the relationships and connections that impact overall health and well-being.
Science has demonstrated that the greater levels of social capital or connectedness young people have, the less likely they will be to engage in risk behaviors.
Positive change starts by building trusting, healthy, and supportive relationships with family, coaches, teachers, mentors and peers.
Nurturing family relationships are essential for young people as they develop. Positive family relationships can be attributed to higher levels of adolescent self-esteem and happiness, and lower levels of emotional and physical distress. They’ve also been linked to lower use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana in teens.
Strong family relationships go a long way in helping your child grow into a well-adjusted, considerate and caring adult. For ways you can enhance your interaction as a family, click here.
Positive peer relationships significantly impact a teen’s health and well-being. As kids begin asserting their independence from their parents, friends tend to become a primary source of social and emotional support.
Good friends are like a personal support group. They help each other develop new skills or inspire interest in books, music, or extracurricular activities.
When teens become involved in the community it builds their confidence and self-esteem, and helps them establish a sense of belonging and purpose. It also gives them the chance to connect with positive role models and community leaders, while developing new skills to become effective leaders themselves. Community engagement has also been shown to decrease traditional problem behaviors in teens, including drug and alcohol use.