A new study has found almost 15 percent of American teens believe they will die before age 35 — a perspective strongly linked to risky behavior. Read the report in Forbes. ALso see NIH findings on Adolescent Mental Health.
Last week, I lost a friend and he was only 30. Recently I was speaking at a youth camp and I was shocked at a their sense of doom awaiting them. They are living with a sense of fear about their uncertain future and dabble with risky behaviors. Such widespread teen pessimism is dangerous to church, society and nation. Economic uncertainity, living under foreign, prevailing media coverage of glooming national scenarios and what not.
The study also found that a teen’s mental state and behavior were mutually influential. A teen who predicted a short lifespan, for instance, during an early interview was more likely to engage in subsequent risky behavior, and teens who engaged in risky behavior throughout the first year of the study were more likely to develop a pessimistic view of their future.
Kids begin to think, there is no point in studying hard, if they cannot find any reasonable job. When they see their parents loose jobs, they doubt their own future. With looming terrorist threats and alerts at airports affects teen psyche more than we think. They take it seriously and begin to see monsters behind every bush.
Will you pump in some optimism to teens around you? They desperately need them.