There are many social problems that teenagers go through. Probably the two most recognised problems are teenage drinking and driving and teen suicide. These two social behaviour are two of the leading causes of teenage death worldwide.
Alcohol, the most widely used and abused drug among youth, causes serious and potentially life-threatening problems for the population. According to a study, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Society must now face several questions.
Why do teens drink? What are the results of teen drinking and driving? And how can society change this pattern? Every year hundreds of teens die. Teen suicide is the fastest growing killer of youth in world and if left unaddressed it will affect our future generations.
Why do teenagers drink alcohol? Peers play the major role in shaping attitudes about alcohol use. Prior to this time, television and movies played the most influential role.
I he attitudes of parents towards alcohol correlate strongly with the attitudes of their children. There are several reasons why teenagers give to drinking alcohol which include recreation, rebellion, to relieve depression, fatigue and boredom.
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Also, they have personal problems at home that make them turn to alcohol. Other reasons are a loved one passing away, fighting with parents, divorce and separation of family.
The main factor of teenage drinking is influence from their peers. Teenagers in our society are pressurised into trying out alcohol for the first time to see how it tastes like. If they give in to their peers they become part of the group, but if they do not they are accepted into the group.
As a result of teens being under the influence of alcohol they are not aware that once they get behind the wheel they are risking their lives and the lives of other innocent people the road. Teenagers think it’s cool to drink and drive. They feel nothing will happen to them.
A survey concluded, males having higher rates of daily drinking and binge drinking than females, but these differences are diminishing. The causes that lead them to automobile accidents are driver inexperience, driving late at night, having consumed alcohol speeding, youthful risk and driving during emotional stress.
Many programmes are being offered to educate teenagers and people on how to prevent alcohol-related accidents; Education can help teens become aware of the consequences of drinking and driving.
Yet effective ways of dealing with teen drinking and driving are formal treatment.” Teens can be taken to visit Rehabilitation centre, which is a process of putting the treatment plan into action.
It consist of (1) education, (2) group therapy, (3) life story, (4) individual therapy,(5) peer assessment, (6) recreational therapy, (7) coping skills and relaxation therapy, (8) support group attendance and (9) spiritually.
The teams are comprised of one expert from each of the following professions law enforcement, education, prevention, public policy and strategic planning.
Every year thousands of teens die not from cancer or car accidents, but by their own hand. They make the choice that they want to die and they take their life. Suicide is the fastest growing killer of youth in world and if left unaddressed, it will help bring about disastrous consequences for us. Teenage suicide is indeed a great plight.
Statistics show that more than 13 of every 1000,000 teenager took their life in 1998 and that number is rising every year. In fact suicide kills teens 3 to 6 times more than homicide. Although suicide rates over the past 40 years are relatively stable, the incidence of suicide among 15-24 years olds has tripled, while the rate among 15-19 year olds has quadrupled.
The number of deaths by teen suicide is rising quickly and it must be stopped. Why are those committing suicide? There are many factors, which lead teenagers today to take their own life.
There is the social environmental factor, which suggests that the greater access to firearms has caused a rise in the death of teens. Teenagers can easily kill themselves with such deadly weapons as guns.
Suicide is genetically influenced. It may be the result of an underlying personality or predisposition to mental illness that is inherited. One other cause is the imitative thinking of our youth. The two major causes of teen suicide are the homophobic sentiments of the people and struggles within the family unit.
Struggles and problems within the family are also a big factor of teen suicide Youngsters who commit suicide are somewhat more likely to come from a broken home than are youngsters of the same ethnic group with both biological parents at the time of the death.
The absence of a strong relationship to parent-child friction and a significant excess of poor parent-child communication also lead to teen suicide. What can be done to cripple the rise in teen suicide? There are three steps in the fight against the problem access, illumination and methodology.
The access to services and programmes dealing with the issue must be enhanced, the public’s awareness be broadened or illuminated and the scientific approach to the problem be continued. The problem is still not being addressed as it should be. Many teenagers are still dying.
Society is coming to understand that there is a major social problem with teenagers drinking and driving and teen suicide. In regards to teens drinking and driving, society can change the behaviour of teenagers who drink and drive by using community involvement and educating our youth about dire consequences of drinking and driving.
We must look towards igniting and mobilising the passion, energy, imagination and idealism of our youth to make a real difference. We hope, with future changes in society, the issues of teenage drinking and driving will be addressed and community solutions will be found for our youth.
It is our role and responsibility to become involved in our youth because they are our future. Teen suicide is a grave national problem indeed. The future of our next generation is at stake. Let us take action now before it is too late, before the teen suicide epidemic devours the whole nation. In other words, let’s deal with the problem- First, let’s recognise it. Then let’s become aware about it. Arte that, let’s take action to diminish it.
Problems Faced by Teenagers
Scheduling work and play
Teenage stress increases with school work and as they move higher, a number of projects to be done, tests to cope up with, professional choices to be focused on, drama, literary forums, sport and other extra curricular activities from the school front add to the pressure. On the social front, a new and tantalizing horizon opens up- dating, partying, hanging out with friends, vying for attention with the distraction of the media, sports, music, internet relationships etc. The teenager is under much duress to schedule time, prioritize work and achieve goals. Effective learning skills could be of great help to these teenagers.
High parental expectation Parenting teenagers is like walking on thin ice. Parents need to strike the right balance. Often times parents live their dream through their children this is when the pressure builds. Expecting the teenager to excel in academics, get good grades, be the child of their expectations – well behaved, responsible for themselves and sometimes for their younger siblings and bring in accolades from extra curricular activities - is in itself enough pressure.
Added to this is peer pressure. Teens, to be accepted among peers, feel the need to become more popular through other channels like music, sport and if need be by bulling and getting into school gangs… and are often under great stress to become acceptable and popular. Amid such hectic activity, the seeds of restlessness, anxiety, fear of failure, unbearable stress is all planted. The most immature and easy way out could lead them to other problem areas like formation of unacceptable habits, teenage depression, substance abuse, getting into trouble with the law etc.
Social and parental pressure
Every significant other adult around the teen is attempting to mould him / her into some acceptable shape. Parents, teachers, elders in the family, social groups are all party to this. The teen is hardly ever able to do what he / she wants to do with his / her life. Even though people do not push their views down their throats, they are still under a lot of strain because of the variety of suggestions given and the fear of failure. Frequently, teens arrive at decisions which conflict with their own skills or fields of interest.
The teen is suddenly expected to act like an adult, with good social and self- help skills in areas like managing work independently, decision making, managing their finances well, being responsible, etc. Though every parent complains about filthy bedrooms, untidy shelves and cabinets, smelly socks, missing stuff, I wonder where is the time! Their inabilty to handle pressure make them defiant in the face of expectations, more prone to anxiety, depression etc.