According to the findings of the studies conducted by Nuffield Foundation, present-day teenagers are exposed to various situations that is completely different from those experienced by young people of earlier decades. Due to these changed circumstances and environment, afflictions by problems like teen anxiety and teen depression have drastically increased.
During the 1970’s and the 80’s, a large number of teenagers used to go for employment but the scenario is different now because more number of adolescents pursue education during teenage.
Family circumstances have also changed. Many teenagers are forced to undergo the ordeal of being witness to the divorce and separation of their parents. This was uncommon a few decades back. But at the same time, the number of adolescents who spend their teenage years with their parents has increased. These teens get the right opportunities to share their minds, information and opinions with their parents and their family members.
A number of social changes have also happened in the last few decades and this also affects the minds and behavior of these young people. This affects the manner in which they transition towards their adulthood also.
How They Affect Teen Behavior
That the number of teens who are being affected by teen anxiety and teen depression has increased in the recent years is one of the findings of this study. The same study points out that from 1999 to 2004, this number has plateaued.
The labor market of the teens has visibly shrunk because the number of young people who are pursuing their education has increased to a large extent. Even teens who belong to low and middle income groups are pursuing higher education that was originally the privilege of the affluent society. Similarly, the number of vocational courses and the teens pursuing these courses have also been increasing year after year.
Alcohol and Drug Consumption
The number of teens who take to drinking and use of drugs has not come down though the number has either been fluctuating or coming down marginally.
Since the number of parents who separate with their partners has increased, their children are subjected to the bitter experiences of such splits. This causes emotional problems in these teens. The studies of the Nuffield Foundation have enough evidence to prove that emotional as well as behavioral problems of teens may have links with such changes in their families and family structures. Of course, other factors also play significant roles in causing these problems.
Compared to the teens of the decades of 80’s, the present-day teens are spending more time with their parents. Present-day parents are also keeping a close watch on their teens, though these parents admit that they undergo increased stress in handling their teens. Though children pursuing higher education and staying with their parents for more number of years is a positive thing, the stress of the parents will have negative effects.
It is not easy for today’s teens to make the the transition from their student life to the life of working people. Most of the teens believe that if they pursue education till they reach the age of 20, it will be beneficial for them. But, they should remember that only those courses that prepare them with genuine skills as well as socializing capabilities will help them perform well in their career. But unfortunately, many of the courses do not fulfill these criteria. This may be one of the reasons that trigger teen anxiety and teen depression.
Inter-dependence in the work environment does not determine the individual choices of teens. In fact, teens themselves decide how they should spend their time. Further, young people do not seem to bother about getting segregated from people who belong to older generations.
The study clearly points out that the environments of teens are more populated by people of the same age or peer groups unlike in earlier decades when they had mixed environments that consisted of studies as well as work. So, the future of this young generation is certain to look different.
To summarize, the increased pressures faced by the adolescents of today are the main reasons for the increase in afflictions of teen anxiety and teen depression.