Young people experience stress on a different level than adults. The common causes of stress in teens will vary, but most adolescents are less equipped to handle them, as well. This leads to unhealthy behaviors such as substance use, inappropriate sex, and eating disorders. The American Psychiatric Association reports that 36 percent of teens surveyed about stress said they feel tired all the time, and 23 percent admitted to skipping meals.
Common Causes of Stress in Teens
For families to be able to recognize stress overload and help manage it, they need a basic understanding of why it happens. What are some of the common causes of stress in teens?
Academics are competitive, and a common cause of stress in teens. They feel anxiety about everything from grades to writing essays for colleges. They work to please the people in their life that matter as they go through school, too, like favorite teachers and family.
Today’s students are judged not only on grades, but on extracurricular activities, as well. Colleges expect to see teen applicants excel at things beyond their classes like student government, sports, and academic clubs. All this on top of an already overwhelming school classload means stress.
Technology has made peer pressure a 24-hour stressor. Teens spend most of their time with peers at school and then continue to communicate with them at home. Today’s society is seeing an increase in bullying, tribes, and social pressure.
Add to this their budding interest in romantic relationships, and it can be a confusing time to be a social teenager.
Stress is often a family affair. As a result, family dynamics are common causes of stress in teens. Kids may feel the effect of stress in their family unit due to financial problems, poor communication, or abuse. There may be unrealistic expectations on both sides and sibling rivalry that makes home life competitive and, sometimes, unpleasant.
Trauma can play a significant role in a teen’s life. No two deal with it the same way, either. The nature of the trauma varies. Family illnesses, death, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and violence all register differently on each person.
Ultimately, stress is a response to change. Teens experience life changes at a different level than adults. Moving to another city, going to a new school, and divorce means traumatic change for many adolescents that are already struggling to find their place.
Common Causes of Stress in Teens: Symptoms
Stress appears in different ways, but there are signs families can watch for, such as:
- Dropping grades
- Moods like depression or agitation
- Changes in weight – loss or gain
- Poor concentration
- Being careless or sloppy
- Lack of interest in activities they enjoy like sports or hobbies
- Refusing to socialize with friends
Some teens respond to stress with compulsive behaviors that require treatment, such as excessive video gameplay or substance use.
Programs That Treat Common Causes of Stress in Teens
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery works with teen boys to treat these behaviors and manage their stress more effectively. Programs include:
- Trauma therapy
- Substance use disorder treatment
- Mental health services
- Treatment for process addictions including video games
- Disordered eating
Foothills at Red Oaks Recovery offers individualized treatment using evidenced-based and integrative techniques. We provide a small, nurturing, and home-like environment that will help ease your teen’s stress so we can help teach them to manage it. The facility sits on a 94-acre farm in Ellenboro, North Carolina, teaching your teen the value of nature for stress relief, as well.
At Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, we help families find better ways to communicate and teach stress recognition and management. We help create a support system for your teen, so they can understand stress levels and find solutions. Along with family therapy, we also offer individual and group therapy, psychological testing, and continued education.