the shape of leadership

Teens Say Depression Is a Big Problem Among Their Peers

Bullying and addiction are also major issues

Influence Magazine on March 19, 2019

Adolescence can be tough, and a recent report from Pew Research Center suggests this generation of young people has its share of struggles. In fact, 7 in 10 U.S. teens say depression and anxiety are major problems among their peers.

More than half of the respondents — ranging in age from 13 to 17 — also said bullying (55 percent) and drug addiction (51 percent) are major problems among people their age in the communities where they live. Another 45 percent pointed to drug addiction as a big problem.

About a quarter of teens experience putdowns daily or almost daily.

In describing their own feelings, 40 percent of teens said they feel bored every day or most days. Approximately 3 in 10 (29 percent) regularly feel tense or nervous, and the same percentage wish they had more friends. About a quarter (24 percent) experience putdowns daily or almost daily.

Today’s youth also feel intense pressure from various sources, with the need to get good grades topping the list (61 percent). Another 29 percent said they personally feel a lot of pressure to look good, and 28 percent endure heavy pressure to fit in socially.

On the positive side, few teens said they personally feel a lot of pressure to have sex (8 percent); drink alcohol (6 percent); or use drugs (4 percent).

Churches can make a difference in the lives of teens by offering them a place of community, demonstrating the love of Christ, providing prayer and support as they navigate life’s challenges and pressures, and equipping them to minister to their friends.


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