It seems that turbulent teenage angst really is just a phase, according to a new study published in the journal Child Development Wednesday. Tracking the emotional hills and valleys of 474 teenagers from Amsterdam, the authors found that their mood swings settled down as they became older.

"We found that early adolescence is the period of the greatest volatility, but adolescents gradually stabilize in their moods," said co-author Dr. Hans M. Koot, professor of developmental psychology at VU University Amsterdam and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, in a statement. "An important message to teens, parents, and teachers is that temporary mood swings during early adolescence might actually be normal and aren't necessarily a reason to worry."

Koot and his team enlisted the teens, ages 13 to 18, to jot down the moods they felt (happy, sad, anxious or angry) on a daily basis for three weeks every successive school year, such that the authors had fifteen weeks worth of entries over a five year period to pore through and evaluate any trends.

The teenagers generally experienced greater stability in terms of happiness, sadness and anger, but not anxiety, which continued to fluctuate. The researchers speculated that may have happened because while common struggles like break-ups and arguments with your parents about curfew gradually become easier to handle, the stresses of impending adulthood such as college or job placement continue to stack on.

Girls were more varied in their happy and sad moods, but the change in increased stability was similar across either gender. Prior to the study, at age 12, 40 percent of the teenagers showed signs of being at high risk for aggressive or delinquent.

The authors, if nothing else, are hope their findings can both dispel common misconceptions as well as provide a roadmap for when actual behavioral interventions on the part of adults need to be taken.

"In general, heightened mood variability will eventually pass," said lead author Dominique F. Maciejewski, a Ph.D. student at VU University Amsterdam and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research. "By demonstrating that most teens get less moody across adolescence, our study provides a solid basis for identifying adolescents who develop in a deviant way. In particular, teens who continue to be extremely moody or who get even moodier across adolescence may need to be monitored more closely since earlier studies have shown that extreme mood swings are related to more emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal problems."

Source: Maciejewski D, van Lier P, Branje S, et al. A Five-Year Longitudinal Study on Mood Variability Across Adolescence using Daily Diaries. Child Development. 2015