Adolescence is a period of enormous change – for both young people and their immediate family, friends and other contacts. One of the greatest cornerstones of life It ’s a time when young people say goodbye to who they are as children and discover who they are to become as adults It ’s a heady adventure, a time of incredible , energy, learning, self discovery and of course rebellion. For everything that is good and exciting about being a teenager there are equal obstacles Here ’s some of the challenges teenagers face
Times are constantly changing when it comes to education and employment. Today ’s generation of young people are the most educated generation ever. They are staying at school longer and going on to further education in greater numbers than anyone before them. But they are also the generation that faces the greatest challenges when it comes to employment. The nature of the work force today – particularly in technology-based industries – is less stable. 50 years ago you trained in a job and that would be your occupation for your entire working life. Research suggests that the current generation of students will have up to 5 changes in occupation during their work life. Occupations are no longer for good which provides great scope for young people, but also with that goes the stress of where to next?
You hear a lot about peer pressure – that need to fit in. Many young people talk about the pressure to conform and to look and behave like everybody else. This can cause significant stress for young people, particularly those that don ’t fit into the stereotypical mould.
And the media are probably the worst offenders when it comes to pressuring young people to look a certain way, drink a certain drink and behave like a certain celebrity.
Alcohol and drugs have been shown to have a significant link to mental health difficulties. It often difficult to discern whether the mental health problems are related to the drug and alcohol use or the other way around. But what we do know is that excessive drug and alcohol use can have a significant impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Excessive risk taking is also a warning sign for mental health difficulties. This is particularly problematic for adolescent males and can often be associated with alcohol use.
Technology is prolific in the lives of young people these days and the pressure to keep up with the new gear can be associated with the pressure from peers to have the latest look!
Connection to friends through technology is very important for young people and if they are unable to access those social connection via technology then the sense of disconnection can be very stressful.
Today ’s young people are growing up in an age where information is readily available. However, the accuracy and reliability of that information is sometimes dubious. It is important that young people are able to monitor their information uptake and censor the less than accurate information in order to avoid information overload.
Bullying can be a very stressful situation for both victims, the bully and the by-standers who witness it.
This is also the case with mobile phone bullying – SMS or photos being shared as well as..
Via online services such as Facebook, MSN and other social networking services. ReachOut.com has some great information about how to deal with bullying and cyber bullying in the relationships section.
Sexual development and sexuality are also a huge pressure for young people. There is so much reference to the ideal looking male/female and the importance of looking attractive to other people that it can be stressful if you don ’t fit the image.
Family life can also be a source of pressure, particularly the conflict that can arise from a teenager wanting to gain greater independence against the wishes of their parents. Compromises can be difficult to negotiate particularly when they involve going to parties, starting relationships, getting your licence etc.
even greater pressure can be felt when there is constant conflict in the home. Divorce rates are increasing leaving many young people living between two homes with two separate sets of parents and often two different sets of rules.
Teenage years also see the pressure of love emerge. Again peers and the media create the belief for many young people that if you must be in a relationship. For those young people who aren ’t this can be a stressful time. Equally stressful is when relationships breakdown.
Consider all of these pressures and then add to this …