Such emotional, physical, and social pressures especially put teen girls at risk of damaging behaviour. In recent years, studies have found that the use of marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes in teen girls are approaching those of teen boys. In fact, in 2008, more teen girls started drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes than boys.1 Teen girls also had a higher risk of abusing prescription drugs than boys that year.
Adolescence is widely considered the most confusing part of a girl's life. Teen girls undergo many changes in their bodies, in their sexuality, in their responsibilities within and outside their family, and in their behaviours, while they try to understand their mixed emotions and find out who they truly are. It is a time when the media and unfair social pressures can result in the pressure to grow up too fast without taking the time to develop their best skills and conduct important self-reflection.
A lack of proper guidance from parents and teachers, can put teen girls at risk of developing harmful personality traits. During adolescence, teen girls often develop a lack of self-esteem, don't perform as well academically, become less physically active, and neglect to nurture their own personal passions, goals, and aspirations. This increased their risk of the negative outside influence of the media and social pressures of peers.
Parents can watch out for specific signs that their teen girl may be at risk of heading down a treacherous path, which include: changes in appearance and friends, long periods of time spent in the bathroom, a disinterest in previously-enjoyed hobbies, breaking house rules, and a change in demeanor towards lethargy and agitation.2
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