Stress among teenagers is a concern for the teens, their parents and also their teachers. In this article we will explore what research teaches us. The University of Minnesota gives us some clues.
A Greek philosopher once said, “Change is the only constant in life”. People change, circumstances change, thoughts change. Teenagers find it a lot more difficult to cope with such variations. Hence, this leads to acute stress, anxiety, burnout and tension. Several conditions, as listed below, can be potential stressors for teenagers.
Youngsters go through a difficult phase and the messages that they receive from parents, teachers and friends often seem contradictory. This phase can create serious problems, stress and tension for teenagers if they are not equipped to handle the situations.
Stress can be “good” or “bad”. Some amount of “good” stress and tension can bring out the best in a teenager. “Bad” stress can cause headache, nightmares, irritability and fatigue. Feeling stress over prolonged periods leads to distress and this in turn leads to various diseases. It is very important for parents to teach teens the art of handling stress and tension.
Joyce Walker, University of Minnesota, undertook a study and survey to determine the effect of stress and tension in adolescents. The research focused on several situations that teens face and describe how they deal with it. The study also threw light on how stress and tension can cause destructive behavior. The data for the experiment was collected from high school students in 52 rural Minnesota counties.
4300 students participated in the study and the following observations were made.
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Most youngsters go through situations that cause stress and tension. Often, several stressors pile up. This results in depression, aggressive behavior and suicidal tendencies. Several adolescents, in a fit of stress and tension, take to fighting, drinking and smoking.
Adults who play a part in the lives of teenagers can help by being understanding. They need to relate to the problems faced by their wards. Youngsters, given proper guidance and time, will learn to overcome stress and related issues. Awareness among both adults and adolescents will pave the way for productive and timely involvement.
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