Risk Factors that Increase Stress in Modern Day Adolescents
Adolescence is a time of growth and development. It is a transitional stage between the dependency of childhood and independency of adulthood. Thus, it is not surprising that adolescence is noted to be a juncture of high distress. Risk factors and causes of stress in adolescence must be determined first and foremost, so that appropriate coping strategies can be developed to deal with this issue.
Stress is defined as conditions or events that test a person's psychological capacity to adjust or respond to these circumstances (Garcia, 2009). The conditions, in which a person determines as stressful, vary depending on the individual. Adolescent's experience of stress can be perceived as intolerable, due to their lack of knowledge and understanding of how to appropriately deal with their distress (George & van der Berg 2011). Byrne and Mazanov (2002) established seven areas that predispose adolescents to increased stress levels. These include school, family relationships, future prospects and peer interactions (Byrne & Mazanov 2002).
Negative family interactions have been found to be the most compelling stressors for adolescents (McNamara 2000, pg 39). Unstable family structure, parental disagreements and inadequate child care can have a detrimental effect on an adolescents well being (Menaghan 2010). As adolescents are still developing physically and mentally, the requirement of a constant and secure home life is especially beneficial to their growth into adulthood. Most family related stressors can be classified as trivial or minor disagreements between an adolescent and parent (McNamara 2000 pg 40). When these discrepancies escalate into severe conflicts, the resultant adolescent is more inclined to have doubt in their self-worth, and depleted confidence in their ability to achieve, therefore losing all motivation to accomplish goals (McNamara 2000 pg 42). This in turn can predispose the...
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