Teenagers often straddle the fence between their need for independence and barriers to that independence, including parental and societal restrictions. These changes often encourage defiant behavior, yet some defiant behaviors are more serious than others, including drug abuse and sexual promiscuity. Difficult transitions during adolescence can be redirected by teaching teenagers appropriate coping skills and allowing them enough freedom to forge their identity in a healthful manner.
Disrespect Toward Authority
Anger and frustration lie at the heart of a teenager's disrespect for authority, according to teen counseling professionals at Wolf Creek Therapeutic Boarding School in North Carolina. Furthermore, as teenagers struggle to figure out who they are in their social circles and the world at large, some teens demonstrate disrespect as a way to appear impervious to emotions or to engage in a power struggle with authority figures to assert their independence. While a certain level of oppositional behavior is to be expected during adolescence, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests that parents seek professional help when disrespectful behavior interferes with normal, day-to-day functioning.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Drug and alcohol use is a common behavior for 71 percent of teens by the time they reach the 12th grade, according to research gathered by Colorado State University Extension office. According to researchers, possible causes of adolescent alcohol and drug use include an underdevelopment of executive functions in the pre-frontal cortex that govern areas such as decision-making and judgment, as well as peer pressure. Alcohol and drug use can also lead to chemical dependency later in life.
Adolescent sexual promiscuity is often fueled by low self-esteem and depression, according to mental health professionals at Sequel Youth and Family Services. Depictions of sexual behavior in the media, peer pressure and a history of sexual abuse are also recognized as contributing factors to teen sexual promiscuity. Alcohol and drug abuse often exacerbate sexual promiscuity in teens, inhibiting their ability to make good decisions about sexual behavior, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety. Sexual promiscuity in teens and a lack of information regarding sexually responsible behavior can lead to public health concerns, such as teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Apart from truancy often being against the law in some states, truancy also has a negative and long-lasting effect on a teenager. Teens who repeatedly miss classes risk having exposure to the development of essential intellectual and social skills that will prepare them for success in adulthood. Students who also fail to obtain at least a high school diploma create difficulties in obtaining sufficient employment, which threatens their ability to support themselves in later in life.
- Fulshear Ranch Academy: Teen Defiance -- What is Normal?
- Wolf Creek Therapeutic Boarding School: Disrespect for Authority
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Your Adolescent -- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Colorado State University Extension: Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
- Sequel Youth and Family Services: Sexual Promiscuity
- Focus Adolescent Services: Teen Sexual Behavior: Issues and Concerns
- Utah Department of Public Safety: Youth Alcohol
- Texas Teen Page: Truancy
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