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The teenage years have always been a tumultuous time for youths in this country. Yet more teens are struggling today than ever before, suffering from a variety of psychological and behavioral issues. Here are some revealing facts and statistics on troubled teens:

Myths & Facts About Troubled Teens

Myth: Teenage turmoil is inevitable.
Fact:   Many people assume the teenage years are bound to be turbulent and traumatic. In reality the type of adolescent turmoil familiar to parents in the united States and other western cultures is completely absent in many cultures around the world. Many of the problems that parents and teens experience are a direct result of the way western cultures approach adolescence and the identity limbo we keep teenagers stranded in.

Myth: Troubled teens are bad or defective.
Fact: All types of kids from all types of backgrounds struggle during adolescence, and many of the most productive and accomplished people in our society qualified as troubled teens in their youth. In fact, studies have shown that those youths with the most potential are often those most likely to struggle.

Troubled Teen Statistics

  • As many as 20% of children ages 3-17 have a mental ore emotional illness in any given year.  (Noonan, 2-17-2018)
  • Thirteen percent of teenagers have experienced a depressive episode within the past year. (Bernstein, 2018)
  • Youth suiside rates have shot up in recent years, rising 56% overall within the past decade, and nearly tripling among young adolescents ages 10-14, according to data from the CDC.
  • Anxiety disorders among children ages 6 to 17 rose from 3.5% in 2007 to 4.1% in 2012. (Petersen, 2018) The average high school student today has the same level of anxiety that a psychiatric patient did in the 1950s. (Clark, 2011)
  • About 16% of students, or nearly 8 million kids, were considered chronically absent from school in the 2015-2016 school year. (Hobbs, 8-31-2018)
  • Around one in five parents have suffered abuse at the hands of their teen children. (Newsday, 8-15-1978)


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