Adolescence is a critical phase in the growth and development of human beings as it marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescents experience both physical and psychological changes. Not every adolescent can put up with the numerous changes they undergo. To some people, anxiety during adolescence is overwhelming and many results to severe psychological conditions. Some adolescents experience an overwhelming sense of fear while others find it hard to stop thinking about stressful situations. It is normal for everyone to be anxious for various reasons. Anxiety is a natural and essential emotion that every human being experiences in life. Psychologists affirm that anxiety to signal through a series of worry, fear and this alerts them that danger or sudden, frightening change is about to take place. In some occasions, anxiety is an exaggerated and unhealthy response to issues one might be experiencing in life. To some adolescents, anxiety becomes a chronic condition constantly affecting their ability to carry on with their normal daily activities with ease (Skriner et al., 2018). Incidences of adolescents’ academic performance deteriorating due to anxiety have been reported indicating the severity of the condition and its potential consequences. This anxiety contributes to a lack of interest in taking part in extracurricular activities in school, inability to make and maintain supportive friends among other social problems. This paper seeks to explore various issues related to adolescents’ anxiety, common signs of anxiety disorder among adolescents and reviews how adolescents can to be assisted to overcome adolescent disorders among other issues related to anxiety.
Adolescent anxiety is a disorder that varies from one person to another. Teenagers exhibit different signs and symptoms based on how they handle the situation or what is taking place around them (Garthe, Sullivan, & Kliewer, 2015). Common symptoms of adolescent anxiety include excessive fear, constant worrying, an inner feeling of restlessness and a tendency to be excessively vigilant. Anxiety causes teenagers to be extra cautious, even in situations that present no real threat to their well-being (Stein et al., 2018). Psychologists assert that in a social setting, teenagers affected by anxiety appear dependent, withdrawn or uneasy.
Adolescent anxiety makes people give the impression of being restrained or overly emotional without reason. Unrealistic concerns about social competence or the worries of losing control have been identified as common triggers to adolescents’ anxiety. This disorder is also associated with a range of physical characteristics. Anxious individuals may complain of muscle tension and cramps, headaches or stomach aches, pains all over the body and fatigue (Smokowski, Bacallao, Cotter, & Evans, 2015). Discomfort among adolescents due to pubertal changes also results in anxiety. A critical review of anxious teenagers reveals the possibility of experiencing imperfection, blush, sweat, hyperventilation, tremors and fright among others. From a psychological point of view, anxiety during adolescence centers on the physical changes they are undergoing. Many adolescents do not appreciate the changes in their bodies. On many occasions, adolescents will not like how their body looks or feels and doubt if they can be accepted socially (Skriner et al., 2018). Conflicts about being independent further complicate their desire to stay calm. A panic disorder, which is related to growing anxiety, affects more girls than boys. Intense panic among teenagers arises without any obvious cause. Panic attacks have been established to contribute to adolescent anxiety disorder. The panic attack has been described as an unexpected incident of anxiety that is followed by emotional and physical signs. Fears, which are an exaggerated and usually inexplicable fear, have been established as another possible cause of adolescents’ anxiety. Extreme fear leads to stress, which can lead to anxiety if it persists for long.
Six hundred respondents took part in the study. All participants were at their puberty stage. The study was deliberate in selecting only participants undergoing their adolescent’s phase in life because the subject under investigation related to a common challenge many adolescents experience. 55% of the sample was males while the rest were females. The sample was selected both from an urban and rural setting. Teenagers from all lifestyles were included in the study. The researcher did not only factor the middle class or the upper-class respondents in the survey. Teenagers from poor backgrounds were incorporated to ensure the study established many facts about adolescent anxiety as possible. Participants who took part in the study were aged between 12 and 19 years. The mean age of the participants was 16 years with a standard deviation of 0.75. 60% of the participants were of African American racial and ethnic affiliation (Garthe, Sullivan, & Kliewer, 2015). 10% were of Asian origin, while the rest of the group comprised American Indian, European American, and Native Americans. Only teenagers who could read and write were included in the study. However, the educational level of participant varied. Some were in colleges and universities while some were in universities. The teenagers who could not read and write were not eligible for the study as they could not read and understand the questions being asked before responding to them.
The study had both the dependent variable and the dependent variable. The independent variable was adolescents’ anxiety while dependent variables included age, genders, and issues taking place around a teenager. Adolescents’ anxiety was the primary variable. The hypothesis of the study was about what contributes to adolescent anxiety (Stein et al., 2018). The study also sought to identify common signs and symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety among human beings takes various forms. Different issues can contribute to anxiety. The study specifically sought to determine how puberty stage affects the psychological wellbeing of people undergoing the phase. Lifestyle, gender, financial welfare, social status in society and the presence of parents were other dependent variables that the study considered. Various variables where measured on a scale of zero to five. Zero indicated the variable had no impact on adolescent anxiety while five reported the variable had a high impact on the psychological wellbeing of the adolescent hence contributed to anxiety (Smokowski, Bacallao, Cotter, & Evans, 2015). After the scores were established, they are aggregated, and their average variable found. Ratings for various variables varied, indicating the variation in impact to the psychological well-being of members. For example, social status significantly affected teenager from poor backgrounds compared to those from financially stable families. Responses obtained from the study indicated that lack of finances significantly contributed to adolescent anxiety as it had a score of 4.6. It was established that lack of funds affected girls more than boys. Experience with various respondents differed significantly. While others were receptive and openly shared information as requested with much ease, others were not very open to the interviewers. Some respondents were shy to speak about some issues being discussed in the course of the interviews while some opened up with much ease. Some respondents preferred being interviewed in a group while some opted to be interviewed in isolation.
Participants were recruited using social media sites. They were required to share information about their age, marital status and place of residence before being considered further in the study. Similarly, there was physical recruitment of targeted participant in various communities during social events where fliers requesting teenagers to take part in the study were given. Teenagers were also asked to refer their friends whom they wished to take part in the study. A team of five interviewers then conducted interviews. The interviewers were trained in research protocols and how to be effective in communicating with interviewees before being allowed to collect information that later informed findings of the study. The interviewers strictly observed the accepted and standard rules that guide interviews. Interviews of almost all participants took place in public places of social gatherings in schools, social events and religious functions (Skriner et al., 2018). Only a few meetings were done in the interviewee’s homes. Questions for the discussion were not given to the participants before. Selected persons conducting the interviews introduced themselves to the respondents, established rapport before proceeding to ask the questions. Participants were not required to give personal information that could reveal their identity. All responses were recorded in writing and an audio recorder for further analysis. Respondents were assured that their data would not be used for any other activity apart from the study. They were further requested to give much correct information as possible to take the research adequately. The data collection process almost a whole month owing to the much time allocated to each respondent.
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References Garthe, R. C., Sullivan, T., & Kliewer, W. (2015). Longitudinal relations between adolescent and parental behaviours, parental knowledge, and internalising behaviours among urban adolescents. Journal of youth and adolescence, 44(4), 819-832. doi: 10.1007/s10964-014-0112-0 Skriner, L. C., Chu, B. C., Kaplan, M., Bodden, D. H., Bögels, S. M., Kendall, P. C., ... & Saavedra, L. (2018). Trajectories and predictors of response in youth anxiety CBT: Integrative data analysis. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000367 Smokowski, P. R., Bacallao, M. L., Cotter, K. L., & Evans, C. B. (2015). The effects of positive and negative parenting practices on adolescent mental health outcomes in a multicultural sample of rural youth. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 46(3), 333-345. Stein, S. F., Ngo, Q. M., Austic, E. A., Veliz, P. T., McCabe, S. E., & Boyd, C. J. (2018). The clinical relevance of divergence in adolescent-parent reports of adolescent depression and anxiety. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal. Advance online publication. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10560-018-0555-3