Adolescents growing up in these households often have lower grades in school and a lack of self confidence verses their counterparts. Below these stressors will be discussed in greater detail.Economic Strain One of the more common stressors facing adolescents today is economics. Especially in these trying financial times many families are experiencing during the recession. The economic stress can impact parenting skills adversely by one or the other taking it out on their adolescent children. Parents may get frustrated easily and take it out on their children by cursing and/or yelling, or over reacting to minor problems. In turn the adolescent may respond by getting depressed, and engage in negative behavior patterns in the home and at school.
Findings from a number of studies have also posited the linkage of economic strain with a variety of socio emotional problems in childhood and adolescence, including depression, conduct and psychological disorders, and social mal adaptation. ” (Taylor, R. D. 1994) Research also indicates that adolescents that live in poor run down areas exhibit low levels of self esteem and high levels of anxiety. Unrealistic Beauty Standards A major area of stress for adolescents is school. The popular girls are almost always thin, a mirror image of mainstream society.Adolescent girls are under more and more pressure to look a certain way to conform to unrealistic societal standards.
Young girls can not escape the constant bombardment of print ads, television, and billboards depicting skeletal images of supposedly beautiful women. The unrealistic images of models that young girls attempt to recreate often lead to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Overweight adolescents are often taunted by their peers. Other stressors adolescents often experience include bullying, pressure to excel, and the need to impress others.Bad Habits Bad habits adolescent children may acquire include cigarette smoking, drug/alcohol abuse, violence cutting, and petty crimes. These bad habits usually result from seeing their peers do it and/or peer pressure to try it. Children living in poor neighborhoods commonly have less access to community resources that could occupy their time in a positive manner verses a negative one.
Research indicates that social support enhances individual’s opportunities for positive experiences, while diminishing the likelihood of negative ones. Adolescent Stressors Verses those of Younger ChildrenAll children experience a variety of stressors depending upon culture, socio economic status, religion, and upbringing. The kinds of stressors children may experience have a lot to do with their age group. For example; young children are not usually going to have to deal with unplanned pregnancy and drug/alcohol abuse. On the other hand adolescents likely do not have the same stressors as young children. Young children often have to deal with the stressors of mixed messages, parent/teacher demands, peer conflict, and relationship navigation the death of loved ones and parental divorce and conflicts.According to Dr.
Schachter of the Department of Psychiatry at the New York City Mount Sinai School of Medicine “Research reported throughout the literature shows that there is a definite relationship between life stressors for adolescents and depression, incidence of suicide, interfering anxiety, poor school performance, and general adjustment problems. ” (stressmanagement. com) Adolescent children are a lot more likely to experience depression verses their younger counterparts.According to one statistic; “An estimated 1 out of 10 children have difficulty escaping the symptoms of depression for long periods of time. The rate of depression is markedly lower (1%) in children ages 1 to 6 years old. The rate is higher in older children ages 9 to 12 years (12%). ” (Conner, Psy.
D) What Parents Can Do Regardless of what stressor is affecting the life of the child parents can have a powerful impact on diminishing the stressors a child is feeling. A parent can get involved in the children’s school functions such as field trips and by joining the Parent Teacher Association.Parents and children would benefit greatly from professional counseling. Parents should seek a consultation to see if counseling is a fit for their family from a qualified mental health professional. Medication a child is taking could also cause side affect that may affect them mentally so a visit to the family doctor or pharmacist may be in order. With the parents involvement in all aspects of their child’s life and attention to anything out of the ordinary a child’s stressors can be minimized so that they ay live a healthy and productive life.