Anorexic teens refers to teenagers who suffer from anorexia nervosa, which
is one of the most common teen eating disorders. In this article we will review anorexic teen statistics, warning signs,
causes, factors, symptoms, effects and treatment of teen anorexia.
Anorexia Nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder, which is characterized
by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Teenage girls are more likely to have anorexia than any other group.
Teen anorexia, or
anorexia nervosa, is one of the most common eating disorders among teens. Anorexia means that a troubled teen is starving
her or himself. Teens with anorexia are obsessed with their body image. Anorexic troubled teens hardly eat anything, and
have a distorted view of themselves so that they always think they are fat even if they become dangerously thin. Teen anorexia
can cause serious health problems or death, so troubled teens with anorexia need to get medical treatment to recover from
their eating disorder.
disorders such as anorexia are most common among teens, though eating disorders can begin earlier or later in life. About
1 percent of teens have an eating disorder. Teen anorexia is most common among teen girls, but about 10 percent of troubled
teens with anorexia are boys, and teen boys with eating disorders often go undiagnosed and untreated. Between 5 and 20 percent
of teens with anorexia will die because of the disorder.
Some signs that a teen has anorexia include:
- Losing weight even after he or she is underweight
- Fear of being fat, and belief that he or she is fat even if he or she is underweight
- Denial that he or she is underweight
- Obsession with what he or she eats, especially obsessively counting calories,
weighing food, or developing strict eating rituals
hardly anything at all and saying he or she is never hungry
exercising to lose weight
- For teen guys, an obsession
with looking athletic
- Staying away from social
activities, especially those involving food
of these symptoms, such as social withdrawal, losing too much weight, or lack of appetite can also indicate other health
problems in troubled teens, including depression, bulimia, or other illnesses. Teens with these symptoms need to be diagnosed
by a medical professional.
causes of anorexia are unknown, but some factors seem to make teens more prone to anorexia, such as:
- Feeling out of control, and wanting to control
- Fear of the changes that occur during
puberty, such as natural and healthy weight gain
models such as celebrities who are excessively thin
illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder
- Family members who are overly concerned with weight
- Genetics ? Involvement in sports that stress ideal weights, such as gymnastics, ice-skating, ballet,
track, and wrestling
- Peer pressure from someone
they know who is anorexic
can do serious harm to a teen's body, sometimes ending in death. Some effects of anorexia are:
- Malnutrition and starvation
- Lack of energy
- Susceptibility to injury, especially due to brittle bones
- Damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys
- Lowered blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate
- Muscle weakness
- Anemia (lack of
red blood cells)
- Swollen joints
- Light-headedness and poor concentration
- Poor performance in sports or school
- Loss of hair
- Broken fingernails
- Dry hair and skin
- Growth of soft hair all over the body
- Depression and withdrawal
- In teen girls, loss of menstrual cycle
Teens with anorexia need medical treatment without delay so they can recover from their eating disorder.
If you, your teen, or a friend may have anorexia, find help immediately. Teens with anorexia should be treated by doctors,
mental health professionals, and dieticians. Individual therapy is necessary to help the teen learn better eating habits
and a better attitude about food and body image, and family therapy can help the troubled teen to have a supportive environment
during her or his recovery.
Anorexic Teens Sources:
- Nemours Foundation, TeensHealth,
Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia [online]
Eating Disorders Association, Anorexia Nervosa [online]
What is Bulimia
According to the United States Department of Health
and Human Services' Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (1), bulimia is an eating disorder
that mostly affects young women between the ages of 12 and 25 of normal or near normal
weight. Characteristics of bulimia include episodic binge eating followed by feelings of guilt and self-condemnation.
Teens suffering from bulimia often show signs of
the eating disorder by eating a large amount of food in a small time frame and immediately purging themselves of the food
ingested by causing themselves to vomit. Other ways the bulimic uses to rid the body of food eaten during a binge include
laxatives, diuretics (water pills), and fasting. Often called the "binge/purge" cycle, this behavior is brought
about by an extreme fear of gaining weight.
Treatment of Bulimia
Treatment for teens suffering from bulimia has been advancing in recent years. In 2002, the American Psychological
Association reported on a study conducted in 2000 about two types of psychotherapy that have met success in the treatment
of bulimia (2). One type focuses on the symptoms of bulimia while the other aims to address issues the bulimic may have
behavioral therapy helps the bulimic address the symptoms of bulimia and focuses on the negative thoughts associated
with their weight and appearance. This therapy also helps guide the bulimic to make positive diet changes.
Interpersonal psychotherapy aims
to improve the worth of the bulimic's current relationships and to improve any negative aspects of those relationships by
dealing with issues directly. This therapy also helps the bulimic to form a wider social network.
A study reported in the August 2000 American Journal of Psychiatry
(Vol. 157, No. 8) reported that bulimics who responded well to either of these types of therapy did so within the first six
to eight sessions. The report further states that randomly selected patients who did not respond to the two types of therapy
did respond to antidepressant medication such as Prozac.
Studies suggest that bulimia is manifested in women between the ages of 18 and 24. Psychologist Daniel Le Grange,
Ph.D., however, believes that by exploring bulimic patients' histories more thoroughly, the cycle of bingeing and purging
often begins as early as 15 or 16.
to Prevent Bulimia
to the Public Broadcasting System's Perfect Illusions website (3), there are steps parents, teachers, coaches and
others who work with teens can take to help avoid bulimia. A few of these include:
- Modifying and adapting expectations you have of your teen.
- Examining your own perceptions and attitudes towards food, body image, physical appearance
- Do not give off the message that you cannot do activities
such as dance, swim, or wear certain types of clothing because of the way you look or how much you weigh.
- Encourage eating in response to physical hunger.
- Encourage eating a variety of foods.
- Help teens to appreciate
their bodies and encourage them to engage in physical activity.
not use food as a reward or punishment.
- Do not criticize your
own weight or the way you look by avoiding the use of such phrases as "I'm too fat" or "I've got to lose
- Love, accept, and acknowledge the teen's value verbally.
Teen obesity has grown
to epidemic proportions in the United States.
The US Department
of Health and Human Services recently published teen obesity statistics regarding this dangerous trend.
According to the report, 14% of adolescents in the United States are overweight.
This figure has nearly tripled in the last 20 years.
means that 14% of our teens are at risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Type
2 Diabetes has also increased dramatically in teens as a direct result of teen obesity. Additionally, teens
who are dealing with teen obesity have a very high probability of being obese as adults further increasing their risk of
other serious health problems.
Reading these teen obesity statistics may
be a little frightening but may also be viewed as "something to worry about tomorrow" because teen obesity statistics
are dwarfed by other problems teens face today. Teens dealing with teen obesity also deal with social
discrimination which can be devastating. Overweight or obese teens often have low self esteem which
keeps them from joining in many activities with other teens. Obese teens may also suffer from depression which can lead to
a viscous circle of staying at home watching TV and snacking, gaining more weight, feeling worse about
themselves, and spending more time in front of the TV.
Obese teens may
feel this is a problem they are powerless to change. IT ISN'T.
What Causes Teen Obesity?
The cause of
teen obesity is generally lack of physical activity combined with unhealthy eating habits.
We have become a very sedentary society. We spend hours sitting in front of computers, video games, or televisions. One survey
showed 43% of adolescents watched more than two hours of television per day.
physical education has been eliminated from a lot of schools. More children are "latchkey" children who, while
waiting for parents to come home from work, sit and watch TV or play video games. In a January report to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. William Dietz, Director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
concluded "of all the ways of tackling this problem, TV reduction appears to be the most effective measure
in reducing weight gain in this population
side of the equation, our diet, too often consist of greasy fast food, sugary snacks, and large portion sizes at restaurants.
Going on a strict diet is not the answer. It is important to change the way the whole family eats.
Whole fruits, whole vegetables and whole grains should make up a large part of the diet. Parents need to know the value of
choosing whole grain breads rather than white. The August 2002 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
contains a report showing a strong correlation between the amounts of whole grain consumed over a four year period, and healthier
weight, healthier waist-to-hip ratio, and decreased risk for diabetes. This was true no matter how much refined grain was
eaten, and no matter how much fiber.
Recent reports from public health
organizations have concluded that if children are given appealing places to play, it increases their participation
and as a result their health was markedly improved and reduces teen obesity by increasing weight loss.
Activities to do to help reduce teen obesity:
- Play basketball
- Play tennis
- Play volley ball
- Play racket ball
- Go to a skate park
- Play any ball sports
These can all make a big difference in teen obesity. Additionally there are classes in dance, gymnastics,
karate, etc. There are youth baseball, football and soccer teams to join. The idea is to choose something
fun and get moving, dancing, jumping, climbing, walking, skating?. So, grab an apple and go have fun!
Self image is
the mental picture that you have of yourself. The teen years represent one of the pivotal times for the development of self
image. It is at this time that many teenagers develop the personalities that they will have the rest of their lives. And
this picture they have of themselves can influence the kinds of friends they have, the choices they make and their performance
at school and work. In order to have a successful and fulfilling life, a teen needs to develop a positive self image.
Negative self image can lead to damaging behaviors
In recent years, studies (including one at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
have shown a correlation between negative self image and damaging behaviors. Without the confidence to stand up for oneself,
teenagers may look for acceptance by having unprotected sex, doing drugs or abusing alcohol. When teenagers do not think
they are valued by their parents, or if they feel they are being ignored, they may act out in ways that can hurt them for
the rest of their lives.
Another problem stemming from negative self image
can be suicidal tendencies. If a teen feels worthless, unwanted and depressed, he or she may decide to take his or her own
life. This can be a very painful experience for everyone involved • especially family and friends.
Developing a positive self image
In order to help your teenager develop a positive self image, it is important to make sure that he or she feels
worthwhile and knows that you care. In fact, even if your teenager is exhibiting inappropriate behaviors, it is important
that you show unconditional love and offer your help and support. Additionally, there are a number of things you can support
that can help your teenager feel useful and involved.
One of the most important
things you can do is encourage your teenager in accomplishments. These accomplishments can be at school, work, home or with
extracurricular activities. Having something that your teen does well • or is at least improving at • can help
him or her feel a sense of accomplishment that can help them develop a positive self image. Setting goals and achieving
them, as well as being involved, can help teenagers feel connected to others and as though they are doing something worthwhile.
You can help your teenager by encouraging his or her efforts, and by supporting their
decisions to do their best. You should praise improvement and encourage your teenager to excel. Attend ceremonies and events
so that you can show your support for your teenager on a regular basis.
correction is also important. Helping your teenager’s self image does mean you ignore all the negative things. You
should be helping your teen improve, and correcting behavior. But you should do so in a constructive and gentle manner.
And, while you are pointing out areas that need improvement, you should also take the time to make sure that you praise
your teenager for what he or she is doing well.
A positive self image can
provide a teenager with confidence and with the good feelings that make it possible for him or her to do his or her best,
and to say no when confronted with the temptation of dangerous or damaging behaviors.
How a teenager feels about himself or herself can play a large roll in later success in life. In fact, teen self
esteem can influence decisions that are made now - decisions that can impact health, mental state and achievement in
later years. It is important to help your teenager feel that he or she is of worth. This will inspire the confidence that
helps teenagers excel at what they do, and give the courage to say no to dangerous substances and situations.
Helping your teenager build good self esteem
Positive self esteem is when a teen knows that he or she is loved, cared for and is worthwhile.
Self esteem is understanding that others think well of us. Teenagers need to feel that their friends, teachers and parents
respect and love them. There are some things that parents can do help teens develop a healthy self esteem:
- Avoid too much negativity. Focus on what your teenager has done right. It is alright
to correct your teen when he or she is wrong, but do so in a gentle manner, and accompany your critique with praise for
some other activity that he or she is doing well at. Make sure you recognize the good while you are helping to manage the
- Focus on improvement, rather than on perfection. No one
is going to be perfect. Let your teenager know that you notice when he or she makes improvements in their activities and
behaviors. Focus on the journey, rather than what you wish was the end product.
- Encourage achievement. Help your teenager set and achieve goals. They should be challenging goals, but
also goals that your teen can accomplish. Being able to overcome challenges and reach a goal can give your teenager a good
sense of accomplishment and worth.
- Understand that your teenager
may want different things than you. You may want your teenager to be a doctor, but he or she may want to be a journalist.
Understand that your teen may have different goals in life. Try to support your teenager in his or her decisions. As long
as your teen is not engaging in risky, damaging or illegal behavior, try to be supportive and encouraging.
- Listen to your teen. Invite your teenager to share his or her ideas and opinions.
Listen respectfully, and encourage critical thinking. Be a model of civil discussion and teach your teenager how to disagree
- Encourage exercise. Physical activity helps
increase one’s self esteem. Encourage your teenager to get regular exercise, either through activities at home or
by participating in organized sports.
- Encourage extracurricular
activities. Your teenager does need to be involved in everything, but one or to extra activities can really help improve
self esteem. It gives your teen something to improve at and accomplish. Make sure that you attend recitals and exhibitions
and sporting events that your teenager participates in to show your support.
teenager can be difficult. And it can be hard to know how to properly nurture and care for your teen. However, if you make
the effort to show love and kindness - and support and interest - you can help your teenager develop the healthy self
esteem that leads him or her to live a successful and fulfilling life.
of us, both young and old experience stress at certain times in our life. It's how much stress we encounter and how we deal
with the stress that can determine whether or not it's a problem.
otherwise known in more medical terms as the "flight or fight" response, increases our heartbeats, speeds our
metabolism and heightens our awareness. A little bit of this stress can be good for us, keeping us in tune with our surroundings.
If these stressors last for long periods of time, they can keep us in a constant state of tension. They begin to wear on
us physically, mentally and emotionally.
Causes of teen stress
It really depends on each individual what they consider to be stressful. What
may be stressful for one teen, may not bother another teen at all. For this reason, it is well advised to keep in tune with
your individual child's feelings about different things. Stressors can come from both internal and external sources, some
of which are listed below.
- Family problems (divorce, death in family,
new sibling, financial problems)
- Moving to a new school
- Difficulty in school (learning difficulties, too much homework, tests)
- Friends (lack of friends, shyness, fights with friends, acceptance/rejection, peer pressure,
- Overload (too many extra-curricular activities
combined with school work, jobs, etc)
- Physical changes in body
- Lack of sleep
- Deciding one's future (college planning, job planning)
- Overachieving (trying to be perfect in many areas)
- High expectations (setting goals too high can come from both parents and the individual themselves)
Warning signs of teen stress
Signs of teen stress can come in many forms. Every teen will experience some signs at different
times, but when they last for longer periods of time it can tend to create further problems. Signs of stress can be physical,
mental or emotional.
Physical signs of teen stress
- Stomach aches
- Muscle aches
- Eating disorders (over eating, under eating)
- Sleeping disorders (insomnia, nightmares)
signs of teen stress
- Lack of concentration
- Drop in grades
signs of teen stress
- Anger quickly
- Easily Agitated
Solutions for teen
Now that we are aware of the causes and
signs of teen stress, what can we do as parents to help alleviate it? Most stress can be dissipated by some simple everyday
methods. If stress has overrun their lives it's best to seek further professional help for them.
- Talking - Talk to your child about what's bothering them. Talking and working out one's problems
with somebody else will help reduce built up tension. Encourage them to talk to their friends or other adults as well.
- Take time out to relax - Have them find some activities that they enjoy
doing such as reading a book or listening to music.
- Exercise and
eat healthy - Exercise (non-competitive) can help reduce built up muscle tension among other things. Eating properly along
with good exercise can keep their bodies healthy and prepared to deal with the stress. Avoid too much caffeine as this increases
- Be prepared/organized - Don't allow them to wait until the
last minute to do assignments or study for a test. Feeling prepared and ready for things can reduce lots of built up stress.
Have them create a daily schedule to follow to keep them more organized.
relaxation techniques - Breathing exercises, meditation and muscle relaxation are great techniques for alleviating physical
and mental tension.
The teenage years are an especially stressful
period of our lives. So much is changing around us which we are forced to deal with all at once. Whether intentional or
not, we as parents might be putting too much pressure on our children as well. Regardless of the cause, it's important to
get down to the root of the problem before it gets out of control. If left untreated, stress can lead to further problems
down the road which may be harder to deal with. Teens may turn to drug or alcohol abuse to alleviate their stress. They
can become depressed or suffer other types of anxiety disorders. As parents, we can and should help them before it gets
out of hand.
It is probably safe to say that at some point in our early or late childhood, we have all had an encounter with a
school bully in one form or another. Whether it was a friend, a sibling, a classmate or even ourselves being bullied, it
is a memory we would rather not remember. Maybe we were a bully ourselves or knew someone that was.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 29.9% of American students were
involved in some way with school bullying. Results showed that 10% of children reported being bullied, 13% reported being
a school bully, and 6% reported being both bullied and being the bully. Findings also show that boys were more likely to
be the bully and the one doing the bullying.
One of the growing trends
in the online world is cyber bullying. As children, preteens and teenagers become more active online and through social
media Web sites and channels, it is no surprise that bullying is emerging. Bullying has been going on in “real world”
playgrounds for decades, and now it is moving to the playgrounds of the virtual world. However, even though cyber bullying
takes place online in a world that isn’t “real”, the consequences - emotional and physical -
can be real. Emotionally, cyber bullying can be scarring, since it involves threats and humiliation. In the physical realm,
cyber bullying has in some cases moved into the “real world”, with the harassment continuing offline. There
have been reports of beatings, murders and suicides in connection with cyber bullying.
It is important to note that cyber bullying occurs between minors. Harassment by an adult toward a teenager online
is a different matter, usually predation. Cyber bullying is not limited to the Internet. It includes the use of any digital
technology (including cell phone texting) by a minor or group of minors to embarrass, torment, threaten, harass, or target
another minor. This can leave scars, since online “friends” - as well as offline friends - can see
the abuse. Children, preteens and teenagers are already sensitive about their identities, and cyber bullying can be as real
a blow as bullying that takes place in the physical world.
Parents should be aware that cyber bullying has
increased over time, and that it becomes more prevalent as children move into their teenage years. The i-SAFE survey offers
statistics that illustrate how prevalent cyber bullying has become amongst those in the 4th through 8th
- 58 percent of kids report that someone has been hurtful or
mean to them online.
- 21 percent of kids claim that they have received
threatening messages, either by email, through social media accounts or text messaging.
- 35 percent of kids say that they have received threats online.
percent of kids classify mean behavior towards them online as bullying.
percent of kids admit that they have said something mean to someone else online.
It is assumed that these numbers also apply to those in 9th through 12th grade, since these
students have more access to the Internet. Also disturbing is the fact that 58 percent of those who are faced with cyber
bullying do not tell a parent or other trusted adult when these incidents occur online. Kids are seeing these problems, but
they don’t know what to do about it.
It is important to do what you can to protect your
children against cyber bullying. If the incident is school related, there is some recourse there. Criminal law with regard
to cyber bullying is still being worked out. However, if it occurs regularly, it is often possible to address the situation -
provided you know who is at the other end. Encourage your children to take the following actions if they are faced with
a cyber bully:
- Tell someone about it. Find a trusted adult -
parents, teachers, etc. - and report the incident. Continue to report it if the problem continues.
- Take a screen shot of the cyber bulling. It is possible to print out the current screen, or
to take a picture of it for storage. This could be important when it comes time to track down a cyber bully or prove a case.
- Save messages from cyber bullies. Do not delete these messages. You
want to make sure that they are easy to find and access should you need them as evidence of wrong doing. It is also possible
to save text messages from cyber bullies on your cell phone.
- Do not
open messages from known cyber bullies. If you receive a message from someone you know is a cyber bully, you should not open
it. Do not delete it (save for just in case), but you do not have to read the message, either.
- Block cyber bullies who attack you during chats and other social media.
- Inform the police if you are threatened physically.
- Do not
agree to see someone you met online in person. If you do, do so in a public place, and bring a trusted adult with you.
- Do not give out any personal information - phone number, address or anything else that
can identify you. It is possible to use a fake screen name and avatar (picture) to make identification even more difficult.
- Be a good online citizen yourself. Do not get caught up in cyber bullying.
What is school bullying?
School bullying comes in several forms and includes things that we may tend to overlook. It involves someone or
a group of individuals consistently and intentionally harming another by the following means.
- Hitting or threatening (physical)
- Teasing and name calling
- Spreading rumors, hurting someone's reputation or leaving someone
out (social isolation)
Boys tend to fall into the first category
more often. Girls will more likely do the verbal and mental bullying.
of being bullied
Some signs of your child being bullied are
more obvious than others. The physical signs are easier to see, but mental turmoil is more likely to be kept hidden. Staying
alert and aware of your child's behavior at all times can make all the difference.
- Not wanting to go to school (ex. Faking illness)
- Grades beginning
- Depression, mood changes, low self-esteem
- Complaints of headaches, stomach-aches and other pains
- Sleeping problems
- Changing normal routines to/from school to
- Unexplained damage to self (ex. Bruises) or clothing
- Missing and/or damaged belongings
- Eating problems
- Attempted suicide
What to do if your teen is being bullied at school
- Talk to your child - Try to get your child to open up as much as possible about
what has been going on. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to address this situation with the correct
- Talk to the school - Many schools have no bullying tolerance
rules. Unless the school knows about the bullying, they cannot be enforced. Many times teachers/principals are unaware of
specific situations, so it's necessary to share any information you may have. Ask your school if they have a no bullying
rule. If not, request that they get together to create one.
- Avoid situations
- If bullying takes place in specific situations, have them change their routines to avoid the bullying. It also helps if
the victim remains supervised as much as possible. Bullying is more likely to occur while the child is alone.
Signs of being a school bully
What if your child is the one doing the bullying at school? It can be just as devastating to this child's future
as well. Statistics show that children who are bully's tend to exhibit other negative behaviors as well (stealing, vandalism,
drug use, etc). Some possible signs are as follows:
- Likes to be in power
of empathy towards others
- Low self-control
What to do if your teen is a school bully
No one likes to think that their child may be a bully, but if you are faced with that situation there are some things
you can do.
- Talk to your child - Find out if there are things going
on in your child's life that may be prompting this behavior.
- Seek help
- Arrange a meeting with your child's doctor or mental health professional. They are the people best prepared to deal with
this type of situation. Children will usually open up more to someone other than a parent.
It is ultimately our responsibility as parents, teachers, friends and peers to look out for anyone that may be suffering.
Keeping our eyes open and informing the necessary authorities is beneficial to all involved.
1. Tonja R. Nansel; Mary Overpeck; Ramani S. Pilla; W.
June Ruan; Bruce Simons-Morton; Peter Scheidt Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial
Adjustment JAMA, Apr 2001; 285: 2094 - 2100
Teens Are at Risk
Teenage years are ones of high stress, difficult
decisions, and soaring emotions. The life of a teenager seems oftentimes like a soap opera, with the extreme highs and lows,
dramatic outbursts, and the unexplained "silent treatments". Anxiety can result from a broken nail, a lower grade
on a test than anticipated, or other seemingly trivial issues. In a world of cell phones, palm pilots, portable television,
and other high-powered technology, children learn from a very young age that faster is better. The culture in America promotes
a feeling of always having to get ahead, and this reflects on teenagers especially, who are still impressionable children
trying to be adults. They are looking to the media, as well as their surroundings, to find their identity and who and what
they are expected to be.
So What is Teen Anxiety in "Layman's"
Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways. It depends
on the person and what they are going through in their lives. A basic definition would be to say that anxiety is a painful
or apprehensive uneasiness of mind. But prolonged anxiety is a completely different ballpark. It is an overwhelming feeling
of dissatisfaction and restlessness, where nothing ever seems to be right.
of Teen Anxiety
Anxiety in teenagers can cause complications
such as overeating, smoking, even depression and drug use. Medical experts have diagnosed countless numbers of teenagers
with anxiety-related disorders, including, but not limited to, depression, bipolar/manic depression, schizophrenia , and
addiction. So, how, then, do you know when anxiety becomes a problem for your child?
Some signs of severe teen anxiety are as follows:
- Extreme mood swings
- Substance abuse
- Secretive behavior
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Bad hygiene or meticulous
- Compulsive or obsessive behavior
Teenagers face circumstances that may or may not be to their liking every day. But the ability
to handle these situations, for a teen that suffers from anxiety, can seem overwhelming and even impossible. The resilience
most teens have is not as present in a teen that has an anxiety disorder. What one teen looks at as a means to an end, the
other teen sees only as the end.
What Can You Do to Prevent Anxiety
in Your Teen?
The key to success in all relationships seems to
be the same. Listen. Teenagers don't want to talk about their problems to a parent who lectures them and criticizes every
move. Teens need someone who they can vent their frustrations to and release that inner tension which is ever-present in
any teenager, but much more so in an anxiety sufferer. Teenagers need to know that whatever they say will be accepted. They
need to know that they can trust you, and that they are loved and cared for. Find activities to help get rid of the restlessness,
and don't discourage a teenager from becoming independent and finding his or her own outlets. You also need to pay close
attention to the warning signs, and if your teen is suffering, call your family doctor or local mental health professional
for help, because no one can do it alone.
I Think My Teen Has
A Problem With Anxiety
Oftentimes, the battle seems endless.
But it is possible for a teen to combat anxiety. There are a variety of methods, such as:
- A healthy parental relationship
- Understanding, but above all?
Doctors seem to be prescribing anti-anxiety medications to teenager
more than ever. 80% of teens today are on some kind of anti-anxiety meds. Sometimes medication is necessary, but only in
the most severe cases. It is always better to approach anxiety without using any drugs if possible, because medication does
change one's brain chemistry, especially in teens, where the drugs are stronger, and the teen is more susceptible.
ABUSIVE TEEN RELATIONSHIPS
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Dr. Tawny Moon
Abuse in teenage relationships, also called teen dating violence,
is becoming more common, and more accepted among teens, according to a recent survey by the National Center on Domestic and
Sexual Violence (NCDSV).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly one in ten teens in grades 7
to 12, male and female, has been physically abused by a boy or girlfriend. Abused teens are more likely to drink heavily,
use drugs, engage in risky sexual behavior, develop eating disorders, and attempt suicide.
Abuse or dating violence
can be physical, verbal, or sexual, and is often used to control the other person. Some warning signs to talk to your teen
about to see if they are in an abusive teen relationship or a victim of teen dating violence include:
* Jealous or controlling behavior, including over friends, appearance, and eating habits
* Pressure to use drugs or alcohol
* Name-calling or swearing
* A partner losing his or her temper, blaming the other for his or her behavior
* A partner insulting or embarrassing the other in front of others
* Any form of physical violence
* A partner threatening to hurt others or him or herself
Abusive teen relationships and
teen dating violence have become alarmingly common among both genders; in a study conducted by the CDC, nearly equal numbers
of teenage boys and girls reported being abused by their partner. Abusive teen relationships and teen dating violence are
not limited by ethnic group or income level. According to the NCDSV:
* 20 percent of teens
have been threatened by their partners, or had partners threaten to hurt themselves if the relationship ended.
* 33 percent of teens, and 50 percent of teen girls, say they have felt pressured to have sex in a serious relationship.
* 30 percent have worried about their safety in a relationship, and 20 percent have been hit, slapped,
* 64 percent have been with a jealous or controlling partner.
* 55 percent have compromised their standards to keep their partner.
* 25 percent have been put down
or called names by their partner.
Abuse will continue over time, and usually becomes more serious, leading to
death in 1,300 cases each year, according to the CDC. Abusive teen relationships and teen dating violence have long lasting
mental and emotional effects on its victims and the people who care about them. Unfortunately, those who are abused as teenagers
are more likely to be in abusive relationships as adults. Because of the seriousness of this problem, it is important to watch
for the warning signs of an abusive teen relationship or teen dating violence, including:
* Changes in appearance
* Withdrawal from friends and
* Giving up activities that were once enjoyed
* Changes in behavior
or mood - acting depressed, anxious, or secretive, or acting out
* Alcohol or drug use
* Apologizing for or justifying a partner's behavior - especially his or her temper
* Acting afraid
of a partner, or worrying about making him or her angry
* One partner is possessive and makes all
* One partner insults, criticizes or embarrasses the other
If you are in
an abusive teen relationship or a victim of teen dating violence, talk to a trusted adult to get help. The Teen Action Campaign
suggests that if your child or friend is in an abusive teen relationship, talk to them. Be supportive and make it clear that
it is not their fault they are being abused. Do not judge them or push them to do anything they are not comfortable with,
and be patient. Encourage your teen to stay out of contact with the abuser. If you know the abuser, do not attack him or her
as a person, but it make it clear that his or her behavior is not acceptable and encourage him or her to talk to a counselor
and develop healthy behaviors. Do not hesitant to turn to good sources for help, including trusted school counselors, religious
leaders, doctors, community support groups, the police, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
1. Center for Disease Control: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and "Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report," May 19, 2006
2. Teen Action Campaign
3. National Center
on Domestic and Sexual Violence
4. National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center
5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
6. Girl's Health.gov
Stress from the pressure to have good grades, be a star athlete, or from peers can result in
adolescent or teenage depression. If your teen experiences some of the following warning signs - please see a therapist
in your area. We also provide information on residential treatment centers that have on site therapists to deal with
Recognizing Adolescent / Teenage Depression:
These symptoms may indicate depression, particularly when they last for more than
Poor performance in school
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Sadness and hopelessness
Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
Anger and rage
Overreaction to criticism
Feelings of being unable
to satisfy ideals
Poor self-esteem or guilt
Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Problems with authority
Suicidal thoughts or actions
Get help for
youth with adolescent depression - fill out the contact form today! Or visit childhood depression for info on a depressed
Related Article: Teen Suicide :
Statistics and Prevention >>
Teen Suicide Statistics
Every year nearly 5,000 American teenagers and young adults kill themselves.
That makes suicide the third-leading
cause of death among those 15 to 24 years old, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Only accidents and homicides kill
It's important that parents understand what may lead teens to suicide, learn the warning signs, and know
what they can do to help.
Some Basics Facts About Teen Suicide
* More young people
die by their own hand than from cancer, heart disease and AIDS combined.
* Girls attempt suicide at
a rate double that of boys.
* But four times as many boys as girls die by suicide.
* Boys tend to use more lethal methods, like hanging, jumping from heights, or guns.
High Risk Groups for Teen Suicide
Teens commit suicide for many
reasons, but some common circumstances have been identified. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the overwhelming
majority of those who kill themselves, including teens, have a have a psychological or substance-related disorder at the time
These disorders make it harder to deal with stressful situations teenagers may face, like failing a test,
breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the death of a loved one or seeing parents divorce.
Some mental disorders,
like depression, can be difficult to recognize in young people, says Dr. Richard O'Conner, a psychotherapist and author of
the book Active Treatment of Depression. Symptoms can easily be mistaken for common teenage behavior like anger, sullenness
or acting out.
Also among teens at higher risk of suicide are those who exhibit one or more of these characteristics.
* Perform poorly in school
* Have access to guns
* Experience violence at home
* Previously attempted suicide
* Have a family
history of depression or suicide
* Suffered physical or sexual abuse
struggling to cope with issues of sexual orientation
* Have a friend who committed suicide.
Warning Signs of Teen Suicide
According to the National Mental Health Association, four of five teens who kill
themselves have given a clear warning of their intentions. Parents and friends should recognize these behaviors commonly associated
* An obsession with death
* Withdrawing from regular friends
* Verbal clues: "I'm going away" or "I won't see you again"
* Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
* Suicidal thoughts or fantasies
* Giving away possessions or putting affairs in order
* Talking to friends about suicide
* A dramatic change in appearance or personality
* A severe decline in school performance or social
* Marked change in eating or sleeping habits.
Above all, any suicide threats
or talk of death - even writings or drawings indicating a desire to die - must be taken seriously, no matter how harmless
they may seem or whether the teen dismisses them as "a joke."
What Parents Should (and Shouldn't) Do
to Help Prevent Teen Suicide
Be alert to your teen's behavior and feelings. If he or she seems depressed or withdrawn,
watch your child carefully. Those thinking about suicide often feel helpless or alone. You can help by communicating openly.
Demonstrate your willingness to listen.
If your child is hesitant to talk to you about how he or she is feeling,
suggest someone else he or she can confide in. It may be another relative, a member of the clergy, a counselor at school,
or your physician ? anyone your child is comfortable talking with.
* Keep the
lines of communication open.
* Express your love and support.
* Ask questions:
"You've been talking about death a lot lately. Are you having thoughts about suicide?"
Make hotline numbers available to your teen, like 1-800-SUICIDE. (1-800-784-2433)
* Get help from
a mental health professional.
* Don't lecture.
Don't say "But you have so much to live for," nor try to list the reasons.
* Don't minimize
your child's feelings.
* Don't be afraid to talk with your teenager about suicide.
* Don't assume anyone who talks of suicide won't really kill himself.
* If the threat of suicide is
immediate, don't leave your child alone.
* Don't assume someone who is receiving treatment and "feeling
better" won't commit suicide.
TEEN DATE RAPE
Rape is a serious crime that the victim can report to the police. A victim
of rape is never at fault, and should seek medical help immediately.
Teen date rape is a widespread crime. In 2002,
about 9 percent of teens - 12 percent of teen females and 6 percent of teen males - reported that they had been raped, and
many rapes remain unreported. A rapist sometimes uses physical force, fear, drugs or alcohol, or other methods to force a
teen to have sex. Any sexual intercourse - vaginal, anal, or oral - is rape if the teen did not want it. Date rape also occurs
if a teen agrees to one type of sexual contact, but is forced to perform other sexual acts.
Rape is not always
avoidable, but there are some things teens can do to reduce the risk of being a date rape victim:
* Stay in control; don't drink or use drugs and don't get in a car with someone you don't know well.
* Try not to do things alone; go to parties and other activities with friends, and consider sticking to group dates.
* Always carry a cell phone or phone card and some extra money in case you need to get out of a bad situation.
* Learn how to defend yourself.
* Decide what your limits are, and remember that a person who pressures
you to change your standards doesn't care about you and should be avoided.
* If someone is trying
to force you into doing something you don't want, loudly tell him or her "no" and get away. Making noise can attract
help and scare your attacker.
* Trust your instincts; if you don't feel comfortable with a person
or situation, get away.
Date rape drugs are often used to rape teens. Date rape drugs usually have no smell, taste,
or color and can be added to a teen's drink without the teen knowing. They cause the teen to become helpless - unable to move,
see, or get away. To avoid being the victim of date rape drugs, teens should not drink alcohol, and should only drink from
containers they opened themselves and have always been in control of - including while they were in the bathroom.
If you know or think that you have been raped, get away from the area without touching anything, and go to an emergency
room or police station immediately - before showering, washing, urinating, or changing clothes. Nurses or doctors will treat
you, and make a record of your injuries and check you for evidence that can be used against your attacker. Even if you choose
not to press charges you should seek medical attention so you can be treated for injuries and checked for sexually transmitted
diseases, which can be spread even if your attacker used a condom or forced you into oral or anal intercourse.
rape causes emotional harm, including feelings of guilt, depression, anger, distrust, and worthlessness, and trouble sleeping
or having normal sexual relations later in life. Rape victims should seek counseling to help them heal from the emotional
damage of rape, and consider joining a support group for rape victims. Free counseling is available to rape victims in most
Remember that it is not your fault if you were raped.
If someone you know is a victim of teen
date rape, listen and offer comfort. Help the person get medical care and counseling, and reinforce the idea that the rape
was not the victim's fault.
Resources: Local police, emergency room professionals, and phonebooks can direct you
to local help for rape victims, or call: National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) 24-hour National Domestic
Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)
Teen Date Rape Sources:
* The Cleveland Clinic, Rape and Date Rape GirlsHealth.gov, Safety - How to be Safety Savvy, What is Rape and Date Rape? [online]
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, womenshealth.gov, sexual assault [online]
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, womenshealth.gov, date rape drugs [online]
for Disease Control, Sexual Violence: Fact Sheet [online]
Date rape drugs are several drugs that
generally have no flavor, taste, or smell when added to drinks, and make their victims drowsy, confused, or otherwise unable
to defend themselves. Using drugs to make a teen have sex is a type of rape, and is a serious crime. Teens and their parents
should educate themselves about date rape drugs and how teens can stay safe. TEEN PREGNANCY STATISTICS
One in three teen or adult females
will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and teen and adult males can also be sexually assaulted. Since the 1990's the
number of teens assaulted through the means of date rape drugs has been increasing. Also, about 1 percent of teens admit to
using date rape drugs for other illegal purposes, such as getting high.
Date rape drugs are easily added to drinks
to incapacitate teen victims. There are several types of date rape drugs, including Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine.
Rohypnol is also known as rophies, roofies, roach, and rope, and is similar to newer drugs called Xanax, Klonopin, and Rivotril.
Rohypnol usually comes in the form of a pill that dissolves in liquids. Some Rohypnol turns blue when it dissolves, but many
Rohypnol pills have no color.
GHB, or gamma hydroxybutyrate, is commonly known as liquid ecstasy, soap, easy lay,
vita-G, and Georgia home boy. GHB comes in several forms, including a colorless, odorless liquid, a white powder, or a pill.
GHB is made by some people in home labs, so it can contain any number of dangerous chemicals.
Ketamine is a white
powder and is used in the U.S. as an anesthetic.
These date rape drugs have similar effects on teen victims, which
* Loss of memory
* Lower blood pressure and heart rate
* Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control
* Drunk or dream-like feelings
* Nausea and vomiting
* Problems talking,
including slurred speech
* Loss of consciousness
* Problems seeing
* Breathing problems
* Hallucinations and other distorted perceptions
* Seizures or convulsions
* Death, especially if mixed with alcohol or other drugs
Alcohol is also considered
a date rape drug because it makes it harder to think clearly and resist attack.
Here are some things teen girls
and guys can do to protect themselves against date rape drugs:
* Keep your drink with you at
all times, even when you go to the bathroom.
* Don't drink from punch bowls.
* Don't accept drinks from others.
* Only drink from containers you opened yourself.
* Don't drink things that taste or look funny.
* Don't drink alcohol or use drugs.
* Go to parties with friends and watch out for each other.
* Be clear about your standards and limits,
and avoid people who pressure you to change them.
* Stay away from people and situations that make
you feel uncomfortable.
* Don't go off alone with anyone you don't know well.
that even if someone has been drinking it is not his or her fault if he or she is raped or assaulted.
If you think
that you have been drugged or raped, go to the hospital or police station right away to get medical help, even if you do not
want to press charges against your attacker or know who your attacker is. Do not clean up, change your clothes, or urinate
(pee) before getting help.
Find someone you can talk to; you may feel guilty, afraid, ashamed, or shocked, but
it is important to talk to someone you can trust about what happened to you. Call a crisis center or hotline to talk with
a counselor. The number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE or 800-787-3224 (TDD).
know a teen who has been the victim of date rape drugs, be supportive, encourage the teen to get medical help and counseling,
and reinforce the idea that the victim is not at fault for what happened to her or him.
Teens and Date Rape Drugs
* National Institute on Drug Abuse, "NIDA InfoFacts: Rohypnol and GHB" [online]
* Nemours Foundation, TeensHealth, "Date Rape" [online]
* U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, womenshealth.gov, "Date Rape Drugs" [online]
The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized
world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually.
review of teenage pregnancy statistics in the United States might well bring to mind a version of the old
"good news ? bad news" routine.
The good news
is U.S. teen pregnancy rates have fallen to their lowest levels in decades. The bad news
is American teen girls aged 15-19 still become pregnant at a rate far higher than their counterparts in any other
According to the Planned Parenthood Federation
of America, the following are among the consequences endured by teenage mothers, their children, and society.
- Teen mothers are less likely to graduate from high school.
- Teen mothers are more likely than women who delay child bearing to live in poverty and to require
- Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born
at low birth weight, to have health and developmental problems, and to be abused and/or neglected.
- The cost of teen pregnancy amounts to an estimated $7 billion annually in lost tax revenues,
public assistance, health care, and other costs.
those risks, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports some 900,000 pregnancies occur each
year among teen girls 15-19.
In 2001, the latest year for which
pregnancy statistics are available, 84 of every 1,000 teen girls in the U.S. became pregnant, says the National
Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. That's down from a high of 117 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls aged
15-19 in 1991, a decline of more than 28 percent.
falling U.S. teen pregnancy rate may sound very good, until it's compared to the rates of teen pregnancy in other countries.
Planned Parenthood points out that American teens become pregnant at a rate 12 times higher than that of
women in the Netherlands, where only about 6.9 per 1,000 aged 15-19 get pregnant each year.
As you might expect, the vast majority of teen pregnancies - about 4 out of 5 - are unintended,
according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to the study of reproductive health issues.
Here are some more facts about teenage pregnancy.
- About 25 percent of teen girls who give birth have another baby within two years.
- Between 11 and 12 percent of all U.S. births are to teenage mothers.
- Almost one-third of sexually experienced teenage girls (31 percent)
have been pregnant at least once.
- About one in eight sexually experienced
teen boys (13 percent) have caused a pregnancy.
- Some 46 percent of girls
who first had sex before age 15 have been pregnant, compared with 25 percent who first had sex at age 15 or older.
- About 37 percent of teen girls who have had three or more sex partners have been pregnant,
while 25 percent of those with one or two sex partners have been pregnant.
surprisingly, 43 percent of girls who did not use contraception the first time they had sex have been pregnant, compared
to 27 percent of those who did use contraception the first time they had sex.
If you're a parent wondering just what percentage of American teens have had sex, it depends on who you ask. The
U.S. Centers for Disease Control says just under 50 percent of all high school students have had sex at
least once. A slightly higher percentage of high school boys have had sex than high school girls, but both groups are just
below 50 percent.
Surveying a similar population, the Alan Guttmacher
Institute reports that 80 percent of Americans teens have had sex at least once by the time they
reach their twentieth birthday.
Ironically, the success of the past 15
years in bringing down U.S. teen pregnancy rates may now serve to divert resources from that same effort,
says the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. That progress - a decline of more than 28 percent in U.S. teen pregnancy
rates between 1991 and 2001 - may have inadvertently convinced policy makers that allocating resources to prevent
teen pregnancy is no longer a priority. The organization points out that a quick review of the data makes it clear
that a major prevention effort is still needed.
Self-injury is a negative way of dealing with strong
emotions, and can include cutting, scratching, burning, mutilating or hitting oneself, or anything else that causes bodily
According to CNN.com, one in five teens say they have purposely injured themselves at some time. Some teens
see self-injury as trendy, but to parents and others it can be frightening and frustrating. It is most common in the adolescent
and teenage years and affects people from both sexes and all backgrounds, though the National Mental Health Association and
S.A.F.E. Alternatives report that those who seek help for self-injury are more likely to be teenage girls from middle or upper
Teen self-injury, self-mutilation or cutting can be overcome, but the problems causing a teen
to self-injure or self-mutilate, such as cutting, need to be resolved and the teen must learn healthier ways to deal with
emotions. Some of the reasons teens give for self-injuring or self mutilating include:
knowing how to deal with stress
* An unresolved history of abuse
* Low self
* Feelings of loneliness or fear
* A need to feel in control
* Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder
* Wanting to get the attention of people who can help them
* Peer pressure/curiosity
self-injury or self-mutilation is dangerous, especially cutting, leaving physical and emotional scars and sometimes leading
to serious injury or death. Though teen self-injury or self-mutilation is not a suicide attempt, some teens who self-injure
or self-mutilate also attempt suicide, and many engage in other risky behaviors such as drinking and drug use, or suffer from
eating disorders associated with troubled teens. Because teens who self-injure or self-mutilate often do not know how to ask
for help, it is important to watch for some of these signs that a teen may be harming him or herself, or is at risk for doing
* Unexplained injuries, such as cuts, scratches, burns, bruises, etc.
* Making excuses for injuries or scars if they are discovered
* Acting embarrassed or ashamed about
* Wearing long sleeves even in hot weather
* Secretiveness or withdrawal
* Having trouble dealing with emotions
* Spending time with people who self-injure,
especially on the internet
* A history of eating disorders
* Having trouble
functioning at work, school, and in relationships
* Low self esteem
Self-injury and self-mutilation
is often addictive, and can become increasingly serious. It is possible for a teen to stop, but it usually requires help.
If you think your teen or someone you know is self-injuring or self-mutilating such as cutting themselves, here are some things
you can do:
* Talk to your teen calmly and directly; do not lecture, judge, or get angry
* Do not try to force your teen to stop?he or she needs to make that change on his or her own
* Be supportive by listening and letting your teen know that he or she is not a bad person and can find better ways to deal
with his or her emotions
* Seek help from a doctor or counselor who is comfortable helping your teen
work through the healing process
* Encourage your teen to find positive activities to relax or deal
with emotions, such as playing an instrument, journal writing, sports, dancing, reading, exercise, etc.
* Encourage your teen to avoid people, music, and internet sites that glorify self-injury, and to seek friends who share his
or her positive interests
* Educate yourself about self-injury and do not hesitate to talk to someone
yourself if you are feeling angry, guilty, depressed, or overwhelmed
Resources: If your teen or someone you know
is feeling suicidal or has a serious injury, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately. For more information about
teen self-injury such as cutting and how to get help, go to the web site of The Center for Young Women's Health at http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/si.html,
or call S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self Abuse Finally Ends) at 1-800-DONTCUT (800-366-8288).
1. The Center for Young Women's Health: Children's Hospital Boston [online]
2. S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self
Abuse Finally Ends) [online]
3. National Mental Health Association [online]
5. WebMD/CBS news, "Cutting: Parents' Nightmare" [online] TeensHealth: Cutting (Nemours
6. Focus Adolescent Services: Self-Injury [online]
7. Teen Health
Youth violence is violence between adolescents or teens, including fighting, threatening, and bullying. Teen violence
is becoming a more serious problem, involving more troubled teens and leading to more teen deaths. In many cases, there
are things parents can do to help troubled teens avoid youth violence.
and perpetrators of teen violence are more often male than female, but all teenagers can be at risk. Teen violence ending
in homicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers. An average of fifteen young people are
killed every day, usually with firearms, and 750,000 young people are treated in emergency rooms for violence-related injuries
each year. A recent CDC study of high school students found that 33 percent had been in a physical fight in the last year
and 17 percent reported that they had taken a weapon to school in the previous 30 days. 15 to 25 percent of youth experience
bullying each year.
Some factors that increase the chances that
a troubled teen will be involved in teen violence are:
in gangs or fighting
- Low parental involvement
- Discipline that is inconsistent, lax, or too harsh
- Use of drugs or alcohol by teen or parents
- A history
of violence in the home
- Emotional problems/lack of self-control
- Injuring animals or people
- Lack of involvement in positive extracurricular activities
to media violence
- Lack of economic opportunities in community/low
- Poor performance in school, especially due to learning
These risk factors are not what causes teen violence,
but they often put teens in situations where they are more likely to be victims or offenders. Teens who are the victims
of youth violence may have physical symptoms of violence such as injuries or torn clothing, or may become depressed, anxious,
or withdrawn. Parents should talk to their teens if they see any of these symptoms.
Some things that parents can do to protect their children from violence include:
- Talk to your teen, and listen - show caring and concern
- Know where teens go, what they do, and who they're with
- Include teens in family activities, and be home during at least one of these times: when your teen wakes up, when
he or she comes home from school, at dinner time, or when your teen goes to bed
- Be consistent and firm - but not harsh - in your discipline
involvement with gangs, including wearing gang-related clothing and making or drawing gang signs - talk to local police
to find out more about gangs in your area
- If applicable, help
your teen or other family members get help for drug or alcohol problems
- Encourage positive activities, such as extracurricular school or church involvement
- Teach the importance of a good education
- Monitor and control your teen's exposure to violence in the media, including television, movies, video games, music,
- Get involved in your community and your child's school; talk
to school administrators about violence or bullying that occurs at school.
- Set a good example of non-violent ways to resolve conflicts
your teen has been the victim of teen violence or bullying, seek counseling for him or her. School counselors or local health
clinics may offer free counseling.
If you think your troubled teen is
involved in teen violence, it is important to talk to him or her. To help a violent teen:
- Get him or her counseling from a qualified professional; if there are issues
of violence or abuse in your family, get family counseling as well.
guns and other weapons from your home
- Limit access to violent
media or influences
- Talk to local police and school counselors
for additional ideas on preventing teen violence.
- Center for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention
and Control, "Youth Violence, Facts" [online]
- National Youth
Violence Prevention Resource Center [online]
- U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, Stop Bullying Now! [online]
- U.S. Department of Justice,
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Homicide trends in the U.S." [online]
- Center for Disease Control, "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," June 18, 1993 [online]