Adolescents in Crisis

Youth in crisis need access to high-quality, culturally competent mental health care. This includes care in primary care practices, schools, and other community-based settings.

Changes in a teenager’s behavior should be taken seriously and may indicate a mental health crisis. For example, if your teenager is having suicidal thoughts or engaging in dangerous behaviors, they should be evaluated by a professional.

Adolescence is a time of transition

Adolescence is a time of transition between childhood and adulthood, from ages 12 to 18. During this period, young people develop a sense of independence. They become more focused on their friendships and may begin to question old values. This development is important to their social and emotional wellbeing.

The adolescent period coincides with puberty, a series of hormonal changes that cause secondary sexual characteristics to appear. This change can lead to increased risk-taking behaviour and more emotional reactivity. In many cases, it also leads to a decline in family trust.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many children and teens lost friends to the disease and experienced other disruptions that can lead to poor mental health. In the past 10 years, CDC data shows that more than 4 in 10 adolescents felt persistently sad or hopeless, and 1 in 5 considered suicide. UB researchers are working to address this issue by developing new models for youth in crisis.

Adolescence is a time of growth

Adolescence is a formative period that occurs over the course of biological, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional developmental changes. This period typically lasts from the onset of puberty to guardian independence and is characterized by rapid cognitive development. It also involves the formation of social identities and relationships.

During this time, it is normal for youth to begin to separate from their parents and make their own identity. It is important that they do this as healthy as possible. In order to do this, they need a supportive environment and access to resources.

During this time, adolescents learn how to think critically and develop the ability to question the legitimacy of the world around them. They must navigate complex systems such as schools, employment, health care and justice. In addition, they must learn to manage their emotions, and develop the skills necessary for navigating risk-taking behaviors. These risks include getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease from unprotected sex, causing a car accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and making a bad decision that can have lasting consequences for them and others.

Adolescence is a time of change

Adolescence is a time of change, with physical changes such as the onset of puberty and cognitive changes like grasping abstract ideas. This is also a time when many adolescents develop their own sense of identity, separate from the values and expectations of their families.

Adolescents may become more focused on their future goals and interests, as well as establish and maintain satisfying friendships. They can also develop a greater understanding of their sexual and emotional feelings, including the ability to express intimacy.

In addition, adolescents gain the ability to question and examine their aims in life and the fairness of social systems they navigate, such as schools, employment, health care, and justice. This can lead to increased risk-taking and a need for validation, which in turn can contribute to poor mental health. CDC research finds that girls, LGBTQ youth, and those who have experienced racism are at higher risk during this period of change (Fuligni, 2018). They also need opportunities to develop skills of autonomy, purpose, and agency.

Adolescence is a time of development

Adolescents are in the process of determining who they want to be and where they fit into society. They also learn how to solve problems and make decisions for themselves. However, it is important to remember that adolescents are prone to erroneous thinking and may not always be aware of the consequences of their actions.

During adolescence, many physical changes occur, such as rapid growth in height and weight or puberty, which can be frightening and confusing for teens. Some adolescents mature faster than others, leading to peer pressure to fit in with their friends. This can result in impulsive and deviant behaviors such as drugs, alcohol or sex.

In addition, adolescents develop cognitive skills that help them understand abstract ideas and question old values. However, adolescents who are exposed to poverty and racism may be confused about their identity or purpose in life. This may cause them to become disengaged from school and community.