The Downside of being the "Cool Kid"

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- For many people, 80s movies defined what it meant to be a cool teen; however, a recent study from the University of Virginia found kids that were considered cool at the age of 13 were more involved with drugs and less popular at the age of 23.

One theory is these teens are more likely to engage in extreme behavior to gain approval from their peers.

Lenny Echterling, Ph.D., the director of Counseling Programs at James Madison University. said keeping kids on the right path starts with parents.

"The firm foundation that they provide kids throughout their lives of a very secure attachment. Where the kids feel like there is a safe haven. They don't feel quite as desperate about seeking out approval of others," said Echterling.

Echterling also said teens that pursue their passions are more likely to mature at a healthier rate. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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