Monday, June 29, 2009

Hopeless teens, self-fulfilling prophesy

Talk about an OMG moment. I first heard about this on the radio this morning, and then I came across this article:

A surprising number of teenagers -- nearly 15 percent -- think they're going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behavior, new research suggests.

…a sizable number of teens may take chances "because they feel hopeless and figure that not much is at stake,"…


I still need to track down the study, but I would rate this as one of the most upsetting study findings I have come across in some time.

Where do these teens get this message? What can we do to give them the information/knowledge that that is in fact not the truth? If this is a prime motivator behind substance abuse, violent behavior and risk taking in this number of teens, we need to have a new focus in dealing with these kids. How do we affect behavior that has this type of an underpinning?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember a study in the Vietnam era that said most young people did not expect to live past 35, the prospect of nuclear war being one factor.

"Young" of course is relative...

Cathy said...

I believe there is a great deal of undiagnosed ADD amongst our population which contributes debilitating issues for people. Unfortunately, most schools don't train their teachers to know and identify this - they can only see the hyperactivity element in some kids. Several books out there would explain the seriousness of this issue - you'll find most addicts/alcoholics have it, as do most people within the penal system. These are intelligent kids who learn differently and are told all their lives they "could do so much more if only they...." You'd feel hopeless too if you heard this all your life, on top of being smarter than the average joe. Some books: You Mean I'm Not Dumb, Stupid or Lazy; Driven to Distraction; and Scattered. Pot, Speed, coke, cigarettes and coffee all help those with add - it quiets the mind so one can focus and/or have some peace from constant thoughts. Perhaps if the schools could address this, the kids wouldn't self medicate and/or they could learn in a way that works for them and grow up with respect and dignity rather than shame.