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Adolescence: Contemporary Issues and Resources Assignment Help

Research the range of contemporary issues teenagers face today. In a 500-750-word paper, choose one issue (besides teen pregnancy) and discuss its effect on adolescent behavior and overall well-being. Include the following in your submission:

  1. Describe the contemporary issue and explain what external stressors are associated with this issue.
  2. Outline assessment strategies to screen for this issue and external stressors during an assessment for an adolescent patient. Describe what additional assessment questions you would need to ask and define the ethical parameters regarding what you can and cannot share with the parent or guardian.
  3. Discuss support options for adolescents encountering external stressors. Include specific support options for the contemporary issue you presented. 

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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While some people view teen internet addiction as a simple parenting issue, many experts view it more seriously and it was considered for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Today’s teenagers have never lived in a time without the internet where they can easily be in contact with friends, family, teachers, etc. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, make socializing with others as easy as a press of a button. Easy access to the internet is a great way to stay informed. However, extended hours of screen time can develop into addiction and other problems.

Teenage Internet Addiction

Teenage internet addiction is a real problem in today’s society and should be taken seriously. Internet becomes an addiction when the user is affected in a negative way, such as spending more time on the internet than with friends, having feelings of anxiety when away from the internet, frequently checking favorites sites (i.e. first thing in morning, throughout the day, last thing before bed), disregarding personal hygiene, and many more . The neurological footprint and symptoms of internet addiction are similar to addiction to a substance or behavior (i.e. alcohol, gambling, etc.). The neurochemicals released when acting on these behaviors are similar to those released when using the internet for extremely long periods of time.

Effects of internet addiction

Internet addiction has many detrimental effects when abused. Common effects seen in many individuals with this addiction are low self-esteem, depression, and emotional instability. These conditions have the potential to lead to worsening issues, like depression and low-esteem may lead to individuals to escape into online fantasy worlds where they create a different version of themselves . Internet addiction is not a problem that just occurs suddenly, there are several external stressors that are associated with this issue.

External Stressors

The teenage years are an emotional and stressful time of life. Teens face a variety of daily stressors including parental urging to be successful and get good grades, school projects, sports and activities, and keeping an image among peers. In an interview with Andrew Fulton , a teen who broke from his addiction to the internet, expressed that being on the internet was “really like a therapeutic release” and all the social anxiety from school all went away because he could be whoever he wanted to be online. The internet can be a place where teens can temporarily escape their feelings, feel numb, and social connection. Teens who are still developing healthy coping skills may not know how to effectively cope with these stressors causing the internet to be their only source of soothing.

Assessing for Internet Addiction

People are unique and symptoms will manifest differently. Based on the diagnostic standards of pathological gambling, the following criteria must be met: Preoccupation with the internet; requires more time to be satisfied; inability to stop; emotional changes; stays online longer than intended – in addition to one of the following criteria: uses internet as an escape, lies to others about internet use, risk of loss of life endeavors. Parents can play an active role in observing for signs of addiction as well. For instance, observed spending many hours on their phone or online, feelings of anxiety or frustration when not online, abandoning friends and hobbies, falling behind on assignments or deteriorating grades, dropping out of social groups, etc. Treatment and support will more likely be successful if these behaviors can be identified and managed early.

Treatment and Support

Adolescents with external stressors are not alone and have many resources and support options. Treatment options vary from cognitive behavior therapies and counseling to medications normally used to treat depression or ADHD . Other interventions include activity monitoring, observing time spent online, and alarm clocks and goal setting, controlling internet use by setting alarm clocks or establishing a set amount of time to be online. reSTART, the residential program that helped Andrew Fulton with his internet addiction in six months, involved intensive therapy, regular exercise and monitored computer use.

The internet is a major part of the world we live in and is constantly evolving. It is vital that a balance is established between the time we use our phone and internet to socializingand interacting with people in reality. As parents and healthcare professionals, we can educate and communicate effective behaviors to prevent the issues that internet addiction can cause.

Teenage Depression


Contemporary issues of teenagers

Research proves that 20% of teenagers within 15-18 years of age are suffering from depression (Kroning & Kroning, 2016). One of the common issues of today's teenagers is teen depression and suicide. Depression makes a child feel sad and miserable about their life. It interferes with their daily life, social life, school performance and self image. Teenage depression is much different than adult depression.

Teen depression

Teenagers are exposed to various types of pressures such as getting good grades at school, making friends, hormonal changes etc. Some children are not able to deal with the sudden change of phase in life and succumb to the stress. Depression causes a sense of sadness and inflicts lonely and miserable thoughts within the teenager. Depression causes disruptions in the brain functions and muddles with the emotional interface of a person (Kroning & Kroning, 2016). Parents should be cautious about symptoms of depression. Depression is curable either through counseling sessions or medications.

Causes of teen depression

The various causes of teen depression are:

           Hormonal imbalance: teenagers go through a lot of physical changes during that time which might cause a hormonal imbalance in their body. in some cases hormonal changes might trigger depression.

           Childhood trauma: Shocks or trauma creates a condition of grief and sadness, which the child might not be able to overcome. Severe trauma in a child's life or any type of physical or mental abuse might set on the early symptoms of depression.

           Inheritance: it has been noted that teenagers having a family history of depression is more susceptible to have depression.

           Negative thinking: teenage is a transition period from a child to an adult. Some teenagers have to take grave decisions regarding their life and various situations. The inability to take proper decisions and solving issues might cause depression.

External stressors of teen depression

Teenagers have to combat a lot of stress during their daily lives. Depression can be caused when they are not able to live up to their expectations. Teenagers have potential causes of stress which might trigger depression:

           Academic performance: teenagers are under a constant pressure of excelling in their academic field to get into a good college. Research shows that teenagers have poor management skills which sometimes make their academic stress overpowering, causing high levels of stress (Radovic et al., 2015).

           Social presence: Some teenagers might find it difficult to make friends and make a social mark. Bullying can have a negative impact on the teenagers adding to their social anxiety. Teenagers might find it difficult to maintain various relationships due to lack of effort and understanding.

           Unhealthy lifestyle: Most teenagers practice unhealthy habits such as staying awake at night, consumption of fast food, disrupted meal timings, can be a primary reason for building up stress.

Symptoms of teen depression

Depression amongst teenagers might show certain emotional and behavioral changes. It is important for the parents to notice such changes and take actions immediately. Some of the emotional symptoms are:

           Low self esteem and low self-confidence

           Feeling irritated and frustrated

           Feeling hopelessness

           Feeling overwhelming guilt and subjecting oneself to self-criticism

           Suicidal thoughts

           Concentration issues

           Frequent mood swings

Some of the behavioral symptoms are:

           Low energy at all times

           Long sleeping hours or insomnia

           Drug abuse

           Withdrawing oneself from friends and family

           Poor academic performance

           Drug abuse

           Sudden increase or decrease in weight


Proper diagnosis is essential before beginning treatment. The doctor is expected to perform the three steps to have a proper diagnosis- Physical exam, lab exam and psychological tests (Garber et al., 2018). After completing the diagnosis, the doctor can understand the type of depression of the patient and set the course of treatment. There are some common treatment methods which are applicable to treat clinical depression, such as:

           Psychiatric therapy: Counseling sessions with a certified psychologist might be an effective method to initiate the treatment process. The psychologist can understand the source of stress of the patient and counsel them to take up a different approach to those issues.

           Group therapy: teenagers can attend various support group meetings and share their emotions and feelings. In a support group people suffering from the same disease come together where they can understand and connect each other. Some patients do not open up to their friends or family, joining support groups might help them get rid of the bottled emotions.

           Medications: prescribed serotonin doses or any other antidepressants might be used to treat the condition of the teenagers.

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