What makes a young dude stress out?
A guide to they key stressful events in a young person's life
After some years of experience listening to young people, I'm very interested in one of their most common complaints: STRESS. I've poked through some notes from recent pastoral care training and offer here a 'one stop' guide to understanding a teenager's stress.
In amongst the students' difficult life stories, is an understanding of the needs which they carry to you, the 'available' adult,'. This research has some findings which you should burn into your busy leader's brain.
From a journal called "Psychosomatic Medicine," (by J. Dise-Lewis) was an excellent study of Stressful Life Events which school-aged students face - routinely or otherwise. The study showed a long INVENTORY of the life events, and used a statistical analysis to RANK them in order of the Student's self-rated seriousness. Here's a sneak peak at the...
Top 10 ranked life events for stressful experience
- One of your parents died
- Close family member died (Grandparent, brother, sister.)
- Your parents decided to get a divorce
- Your mum or dad was put in gaol
- You were picked up by police
- You were suspended from school
- Your mum or dad moved out of your home
- You got caught stealing
- You had to move in with relatives or a foster home
- Someone close to you (friend) died
* Note: These inventories are general, and in speaking with kids about the stress they
feel, an item that's 'lower ranked' can still be significantly stressful for a particular individual student. In other words - knowing the territory of stress events is good; but there should be no final assumptions until you speak to the kid and hear his/her response to their stressors.
Dise-Lewis also makes an interesting little "summary" of the entire Life Event inventory, using stats, and found the top student-rated stressful events fell naturally into...
Four types of event:
- Traumatic/Crisis Event
- Routine Frequently Occurring Events
- Changes Affecting Family/Peer/Academic/School Role
- Internally Generated Events & Worrie
Hope this helps you to know the terrain, like it helped me.