While there are some universal experiences all children and teens go through, such as the awkward adolescent stage, there are certain experiences that are unique to the youth of our current generation. Many of these experiences are negatively impacting the quality of life for today’s youth, however, by shedding light on some of the issues, there is hope for change.
Single Parent Families
Since the 1950s, the number of children being raised by single parents has risen. There are currently 28 million kids being raised in single-parent households. This is due to more children being born out of wedlock and the high rate of divorce between couples. In current economic times, raising kids in a two-parent household proves difficult enough, let alone raising kids as a single parent.
Women make up at least two-thirds of all single parents, which often means they are filling multiple roles as primary caregiver and breadwinner. However single mothers are often the poorest segment of the population with nearly half of them living beneath the poverty line. The reality is that single parents have fewer resources to invest in their children, including education and quality time. It has been proven that children from single-parent families are more likely to drop out of school and are at higher risk of drug abuse and incarceration.
Drug And Alcohol Abuse
During our grandparents’ and parents’ generation, smoking was visible everywhere from television to women’s magazines. Once campaigns with statistics about lung cancer and other negative health consequences began to surface, the 'cool' images began disappearing resulting in a decrease in smoking rates. While the percentage of teens smoking has decreased, the number of teens trying synthetic drugs and alcohol has increased. Many of the synthetic drugs kids are trying are as easily accessible as the pain relievers prescribed to their parents.
Approximately 21% of high school seniors admit to getting high, while 41% drink alcohol. Teens often drink to get intoxicated which leads to making poor decisions such as driving while intoxicated and violent behavior. Research has shown that 80% of teens say their parents have the most influence over their decision to drink.