Behavior Disorders

Challenges of Adolescent Years 12-18


As we already know, when young people move from childhood to adolescence, they start facing with difficult challenges. They all want to know who they are. They start asking themselves a lot of different questions including, “What am I going to do with my life?”These are years of transition and development. When a person is seeking to change, define, find, or discover their new self, they will with no questions asked will run into conflicts until they find their true selves.

In my opinion a lot can have strong effects on a teen’s self-esteem. For example when I was going to high school we had a chronically ill boy in our class so I could see and everybody else could see how that guy was socially isolated and less involved in peer groups. As a result, he would spend more time alone or with his family.

However after doing a lot of research I understood that chronically ill adolescents who spend more time with peers tend to have higher self-esteem. Peers who accept a teen with chronic illness will probably enhance that teen’s self-esteem. Social prejudice is a bigger problem. Most teens accept their disability as a fact of life, and no relationship has been found with the degree of disability and self-image issues.

Adolescents are more likely to have feelings of isolation and inferiority when there are visible signs of differences in them. For example: Body image disruption, which may include loss of hair, obesity,  loss of weight or side effects from medications, or due to anorexia. So teens that face these kinds of difficulties do have a lot of problems with low self-esteem.


Mostly peer pressure can end up with negative consequences such as:

Shoplifting is one of the negative peer pressures which will cause a teen to break the law. Shoplifting sometimes can become addiction for some teens until they get caught. And this very behavior can be carried from adolescent years to adulthood and have a really negative impact for the person’s life for good.

Drinking is another negative and the most common peer pressure for teens. Drinking is a very addictive behavior that not only affects the person drinking, but also the people they are around. Drinking is a big cause of teen accidents, violence and loss of interest in activities. And I will not even forget to mention, that drinking also has several negative health effects.

Sometimes teens can use a little extra help in building their self-confidence. So with my opinion, acting self-confident is the first step to feeling self-confident.

  • Smiling. People like friendly people – it’s that simple. Plus, even a forced smile will lighten up a teen’s own bad mood.
  • Good posture. Standing tall not only helps improves how a teenager looks, but it helps a teen feel more secure and puts less stress on the back and shoulders.
  • Making eye contact. Sometimes a teenager feels painfully shy, but their look says “Back off!” Meeting another person’s gaze — whether it’s a cute guy or an interviewer – lets them know a teen is approachable and confident.
  • Being bold. Teens have to be willing to put themselves out there – whether in front of the class or at a party. It will get a little easier each time until the teen starts wondering why being in public was ever a big deal.
  • Going easy on themselves. Nobody’s perfect, but when teenagers obsess about what’s “wrong” with themselves, they don’t give anyone else a chance to notice all the things that are great. Teens need to remember that almost everyone feels insecure at some point (though not everyone lets on). Self-confidence comes from being able to put a break on that nay-saying voice and and moving on.
  • Doing what they love. Parents and teens do not always agree on what the priorities should be. But as long as what a teen is doing is not dangerous, a parent should find ways to support what a teen feels passionate about… or at least to get out of the way and let the teen explore. What better boost to self-esteem than being able to do something one cares about well?
  • Preparing for things. Procrastination is a teen’s favorite friend. But life is stressful enough without teens tripping themselves up. It’s hard to feel self-confident when things feel out of control. When teens give themselves enough time to prepare for that big date, study for that test, write that paper, etc., they find that things tend to go much better and more simply.
  • Being able to walk away, part 1. Sometimes teens who lack self-esteem or have low self-confidence are willing to put themselves in situations that they know aren’t good, just to gain another person’s approval. Teenagers need to learn to stop and trust their cautious side. Teens need to know they can always try things like sex and drinking later, when it’s more appropriate, but if they do something they regret, it can’t be done.
  • Being able to walk away, part 2. Some people only give someone the time of day if that person is doing something for them. No teen should be willing to be a doormat. Sure, it might lose them some friends, but those “friends” are not worth the trouble.



Bukatko, D. (2010). Child and Adolescent development: A chronological approach. Mason, OH: Cengege Learning.

Improving Teen Self Confidence: Building Self-Esteem in Teenagers |