Four Critical Issues Facing Teens Today

by Jessica Gilstrap, LMHC


  • They are not being honest and straightforward with what is really going on. (i.e. moral behavior)
  • May be lying about where they go and whom they are with.
  • Frequently lie about their true thoughts and feelings that may not “line up” with what they have been taught. (i.e. church kids telling us what we “want” to hear).


  • Children wanting and expecting more and more “stuff”.
  • They have an incessant need/desire to keep up with their peer groups. They expect it, not matter what the cost.
  • Parents and or teachers may even see “acting out” (i.e. attitudes, rebellion, anger) when they don’t get what they think they deserve.
  • Nothing ever seems to be enough…


  • Alcohol is the leading cause of death among teenagers. It contributes substantially to adolescent motor vehicle crashes, other traumatic injuries, suicide, date rape, and family and school problems.
  • LSD or acid still ranks high on the list of teenage drug use. This drug is so dangerous because it is a hallucinogenic and while high on this drug, teens can make fatal choices.


  • The National Longitudinal Study, which measured 21,000 teens in 7th – 12th, grades reported having had intercourse just about equally between boys (39.9%) and girls (37.3%).
  • 20% of sexually active girls 15 to 19 get pregnant each year (according to the same study).
  • There has been a dramatic increase in oral sex with teenagers (which many teens now do not consider to be “real sex”).
  • Only 41% of teen mothers finish high school.
  • Teen fathers that are not married to the mother of the child pay an average of less $800 per year in child support.
  • 80% of teen births are to unmarried teens.

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