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What is a Troubled Teen?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 23, 2024
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Many teens experience minor teenage angst which is usually thought of as being a part of growing up. Then, due to their actions, there are some that are labeled as being troubled teens. Their attitude and actions are considered above and beyond the typical teenage angst and may even be thought of as detrimental to themselves and those around them.

Someone that is considered to be a troubled teen may have no interest at all in school and can be violent, depressed, suicidal, or abusing drugs and alcohol. The teen may be extremely angry or sad most or all of the time. In addition, he or she could also be stealing things from home or stores and rebuffing school activities, school work and being around positive people. While these are just some of the signs that a teen is considered in need of help, it is usually a culmination of several events and problems that eventually cause the individual to be labeled as a troubled teen.

While a parent may not know where to start when dealing with a troubled teen, the first step to try should be talking to the child one-on-one to find out what the problem is and why he or she is acting out. In many cases, the parent will also ground the child, take away privileges and even scream or yell in an effort to try to force a change in behavior. While these tactics may work for some children, it doesn’t for all. The parents can then consider sending their child to a spiritual advisor, school guidance counselor or even a therapist to discuss the issues further.

If the acting out continues or escalates, parents may consider taking drastic measures. Military school, boarding school and treatment centers are just some of the places that the troubled teen could be sent to where he can get out of his current environment and try to focus on improving his life. Unfortunately, in some cases, troubled teens get caught doing illegal activities and end up in jail or a youth detention center.

Getting help combined with support and being motivated to change can help encourage a troubled teen to turn their life around. There is always the potential to grow and be a positive member of society. If you feel that your child may be showing signs of being a troubled teen, it is better to face the problem head-on immediately and try to get her the help that she needs before it escalates further.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By troubled11 — On May 26, 2012

Informative post. Troubled teens need to be treated well with the help of parents and specialized professionals. Since there are various options for troubled teen treatment, it is helpful to review more information on better option.

By anon104789 — On Aug 18, 2010

when we have a troubled teen, we should not put all the blame on their friends. we should also look at ourselves, we parents, on where we went wrong before sending them to any youth ranch or boarding school for that matter.

By troubledteen — On Dec 26, 2009

Good informative article on troubled teens with detailed information on the effective steps to deal with troubled teens. As dealing with troubled teens is becoming one of the most considerable issues for parents it is helpful to take a specialist's guidance to provide better troubled teen parenting.

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