Problems in adolescence

Teenage years may be very challenging, both for the parents or carer and the teens themselves. Let’s explore some of the aspects that tend to be problematic for adolescents today, referred to as Generation Z.

Mental health

Complete the text with the words related to the ones given in brackets and check your answers in the original text provided below the exercise.

Young people now belong to “Generation Z”: a cohort which demographers usually define as people born since 1997. ___________ (research) have devoted lots of effort to understanding the attitudes and experiences of people born in the 1980s and early 1990s (that is, millennials or generation Y), who are more educated and ________ (poverty) than their elders are. But they have collected far ________ (few) data about people who can barely remember a world without social media or smartphones. In America, that generation now makes up about a quarter of the population.

Most of the research so _______ (further) about generation Z suggests that youngsters today are ________ (little) hedonistic, better behaved and more lonely than ever before. A recent report by Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, reinforces that finding and sheds more light on this new cohort’s ________ (hopeful) and fears. In late 2018 Pew polled 920 Americans aged 13-17 about the problems that they have seen among their peers. The data show that they are far less _______ (concern) about age-old teenage problems like unplanned _________ (pregnant) and binge-drinking than they are about mental health. Fully 70% of ________ (response) thought anxiety and depression were a major issue among their peers. 

Read more:

Generation Z is stressed, depressed and exam-obsessed
For most youngsters getting good grades is a bigger worry than drinking or unplanned pregnancies

Identity formation 

Watch the video below.

What philosophical concept is mentioned? How do you understand its meaning?

What do the masks symbolise?

What kind of feelings does the video evoke in you?

Relationships and peer pressure

Read the extract below. The red words replace their original equivalents. Try to guess what the latter are, using the first letters provided, and check your answers in the full text below.

When teens adapt/ m______ their choices or behavior in order to follow / c_______ t__ what their friends are doing, they are answering to peer pressure. Peer pressure is often linked / a_______ with negative results / o_______ such as skipping school, wearing distasteful clothing, or alcohol and other drug use. Still /H____, many parents do not see /r______ that peer pressure can also exert a beneficial /p_____  influence. Because of advanced cognitive and emotional maturity, teens can now encourage each other to make smart / w____ decisions, and discourage each other from making damaging / h_______ choices.

Full text:

Teens and Peer Relationships
Therefore, as teens' emotional maturity increases their relationships with their peers change as they become more vulnerable and emotionally intimate



Life in the time of pandemics 

The social limitation resulting from COVID-19 tend to have a negative effect on many young people.

What are your ways to overcome difficult moments caused by this situation? What helps to improve your wellbeing? 

Read the advice presented by the UNICEF specialist in the article below and decide if you agree with these points and why.

How teenagers can protect their mental health during COVID-19
6 strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal


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