Navigating Contemporary Adolescent Health Essay

Assignment Question

Health Assessment During The Adolescent And Prenatal Periods

Adolescence: Contemporary Issues and ResourcesAdolescence: ric Criteria Contemporary Issue and Associated External Stressors 22.5 points Assessment Strategies to Screen for the Issue and External Stressors 22.5 points Support Options for Adolescents Encountering External Stressors 18 points Thesis, Position, or Purpose 6.3 points Development, Structure, and Conclusion 6.3 points Evidence 5.4 points Mechanics of Writing 5.4 points Format/Documentation ssessment Traits Requires Lopeswrite Assessment Description Research the range of contemporary issues teenagers face today.-750-word paper, choose one issue (besides teen pregnancy) and discuss its effect on adolescent behavior and overall well-being. Include the following in your submission: Describe the contemporary issue and explain what external stressors are associated with this issue. Outline assessment strategies to screen for this issue and external stressors during an assessment for an adolescent patient. Describe what additional assessment questions you would need to ask and define the ethical parameters regarding what you can and cannot share with the parent or guardian. Discuss support options for adolescents encountering external stressors. Include specific support options for the contemporary issue you presented. You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.



The adolescent stage is a critical period in an individual’s life when significant physical, emotional, and psychological changes occur. Adolescents today face a range of contemporary issues that can impact their behavior and overall well-being. This paper aims to address one such contemporary issue, aside from teen pregnancy, and discuss its effect on adolescents, along with external stressors associated with the issue. The selected issue will be examined in the context of health assessment, outlining strategies for screening and assessing it, while also addressing the ethical considerations regarding the information shared with parents or guardians. Furthermore, the paper will explore support options available for adolescents facing external stressors.

Contemporary Issue: Mental Health and External Stressors

Mental health has emerged as a critical contemporary issue affecting adolescents in recent years (Smith & Johnson, 2020). The unique challenges and vulnerabilities that adolescents face during this developmental stage often make them susceptible to mental health problems. Factors such as academic pressures, peer relationships, family dynamics, and societal expectations can create a complex web of external stressors that impact an adolescent’s psychological well-being (Jones & Brown, 2019). As we delve deeper into this issue, it becomes evident that understanding the relationship between mental health and these external stressors is essential for effective assessment and support. Adolescents are confronted with mounting academic expectations, including high-stakes standardized testing and college admissions, which can lead to chronic stress and anxiety (Smith & Johnson, 2020). The pressure to excel academically is often coupled with a fear of disappointing parents, teachers, or themselves. This stress can manifest in the form of test anxiety, sleep disturbances, or even academic burnout, all of which can contribute to deteriorating mental health.

Peer relationships play a pivotal role in the lives of adolescents, influencing their self-esteem, self-worth, and emotional well-being (Jones & Brown, 2019). The need for social acceptance and the fear of social exclusion can become significant sources of stress. Bullying, peer pressure, and the emotional ups and downs of friendships can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. It is essential to recognize the intricate connection between peer relationships and adolescent mental health to effectively address these issues. Family dynamics and relationships with parents can also be external stressors affecting adolescent mental health (Smith & Johnson, 2020). Family conflicts, parental expectations, and a lack of communication or support at home can create emotional turmoil for adolescents. When the family environment is not conducive to open expression of feelings and concerns, adolescents may internalize their struggles, exacerbating their mental health issues.

Societal expectations place additional burdens on adolescents, as they grapple with issues like body image, identity, and societal stereotypes (Jones & Brown, 2019). Media portrayals of an ideal body shape, gender norms, and societal prejudices can lead to a sense of inadequacy and identity crises. These external stressors can contribute to conditions like body dysmorphic disorder, gender dysphoria, and other mental health challenges. The contemporary issue of mental health and its association with external stressors is a multifaceted challenge for adolescents. Academic pressures, peer relationships, family dynamics, and societal expectations all intertwine to create a complex web of stressors impacting adolescent mental health. Understanding the profound relationship between these external stressors and mental health issues is crucial for developing effective assessment strategies and support systems to help adolescents navigate this critical phase of their lives. By acknowledging these stressors and providing the necessary resources and support, we can promote the well-being and resilience of our adolescent population.

Assessment Strategies

Effectively assessing mental health issues and the associated external stressors in adolescents requires a multi-faceted approach that incorporates a range of assessment strategies. These strategies are vital to identifying problems early and tailoring interventions to meet the unique needs of each adolescent (Smith & Johnson, 2020). In this section, we will delve into various assessment strategies and tools that healthcare providers, educators, and counselors can utilize. Standardized screening tools are invaluable in the assessment process. Tools like the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) are commonly used to assess the severity of depressive and anxiety symptoms (Smith & Johnson, 2020). These questionnaires consist of self-report items that adolescents can complete, allowing healthcare providers to gauge the presence and intensity of symptoms. By utilizing standardized tools, healthcare providers can obtain a quantitative measurement of an adolescent’s mental health, facilitating comparisons over time and between individuals. Clinical interviews offer a more qualitative approach to assessment. Open-ended questions can help uncover deeper insights into an adolescent’s emotional state, external stressors, and coping mechanisms. Engaging in a dialogue with the adolescent allows healthcare providers to build rapport, gain trust, and collect nuanced information (Smith & Johnson, 2020). This information can be critical in formulating a holistic understanding of the adolescent’s mental health and identifying potential root causes.

Observations play a vital role in assessing adolescents, particularly in clinical and school settings. Healthcare providers, teachers, and counselors can observe signs of distress, withdrawal, risky behaviors, or changes in academic performance (Smith & Johnson, 2020). Adolescents may not always openly express their emotions, making observations a valuable tool for identifying changes in behavior that may indicate underlying mental health issues or external stressors. In addition to standardized tools, interviews, and observations, it is essential to ask specific questions that address the unique needs and experiences of each adolescent. Questions regarding their support system, coping strategies, and any history of trauma can provide critical insights into their mental health (Smith & Johnson, 2020). These questions help healthcare providers tailor their interventions and support to the individual, addressing their specific challenges and vulnerabilities.

Ethical considerations are paramount when conducting assessments. Adolescents’ privacy and confidentiality must be respected. This entails clarifying what information will be shared with parents or guardians and what will remain confidential (American Psychological Association, 2018). It is crucial to establish trust with the adolescent by explaining the boundaries of confidentiality, ensuring they feel safe sharing their thoughts and feelings. Assessment strategies for mental health issues and external stressors in adolescents encompass a combination of standardized screening tools, clinical interviews, observations, and specific questions. These strategies work together to provide a comprehensive understanding of an adolescent’s mental health and the factors contributing to their challenges. Ethical considerations are essential to maintain the trust and confidence of the adolescent and ensure that their privacy is respected during the assessment process.

Additional Assessment Questions and Ethical Considerations

While standardized assessment tools and interviews provide valuable insights into an adolescent’s mental health, it is essential to ask specific questions that address the individual’s unique circumstances (Smith & Johnson, 2020). These additional assessment questions can shed light on various aspects of their well-being and help tailor interventions to their specific needs. Support System: To better understand an adolescent’s resilience and available resources, it is crucial to inquire about their support system. Questions can be framed to identify family support, the presence of close friends, or involvement in community activities. This information can help healthcare providers gauge the level of support the adolescent can access when facing external stressors (Smith & Johnson, 2020). Coping Strategies: Adolescents often employ various coping mechanisms to deal with external stressors and mental health challenges. By asking about their coping strategies, healthcare providers can identify whether the adolescent is using healthy and adaptive methods or resorting to harmful behaviors, such as self-harm or substance abuse. Understanding their coping mechanisms allows for tailored support and interventions (Smith & Johnson, 2020).

Trauma History: Trauma can significantly impact an adolescent’s mental health. Assessment should include questions about any history of traumatic experiences, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Such information can be vital in guiding therapeutic interventions and ensuring the adolescent receives appropriate care (Smith & Johnson, 2020). Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm: Assessing the presence of suicidal ideation and self-harm is of utmost importance. Questions addressing these issues should be asked in a non-confrontational and supportive manner. Adolescents may be hesitant to disclose such thoughts, so creating a safe and confidential space is essential to ensure their well-being (Smith & Johnson, 2020).

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations play a pivotal role in the assessment of adolescent mental health and external stressors. Adolescents are at a stage where their autonomy and confidentiality must be respected (American Psychological Association, 2018). Healthcare providers should strike a balance between respecting an adolescent’s right to privacy and ensuring their safety. Confidentiality: It is crucial to establish clear boundaries regarding the confidentiality of information shared during assessments. Adolescents should be informed about what information will be shared with parents or guardians and what will remain confidential (American Psychological Association, 2018). This transparency fosters trust between the adolescent and the healthcare provider, ensuring that they feel safe discussing sensitive topics.

Informed Consent: In cases where adolescents are considered mature minors, they may have the capacity to provide informed consent for their own healthcare (American Psychological Association, 2018). Healthcare providers should be aware of local laws and regulations governing informed consent for minors. This allows adolescents to actively participate in decisions about their assessment and treatment. Duty to Warn: Healthcare providers have a duty to warn or protect when an adolescent poses an imminent risk to themselves or others (American Psychological Association, 2018). Ethical considerations dictate that in such situations, the provider must take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of the adolescent and those at risk, even if it means breaching confidentiality.

Best Interests: Ultimately, ethical considerations must prioritize the best interests of the adolescent (American Psychological Association, 2018). The assessment process should aim to promote their well-being, ensuring they receive the necessary support and interventions to address their mental health issues and external stressors while respecting their autonomy and confidentiality. Additional assessment questions that explore an adolescent’s support system, coping strategies, trauma history, and risk factors such as suicidal ideation are essential in understanding their unique needs. Ethical considerations, including confidentiality, informed consent, and a duty to protect, guide the assessment process to ensure the well-being and safety of adolescents while respecting their autonomy and privacy.

Support Options for Adolescents

Adolescents facing mental health issues and external stressors require a range of support options to address their unique needs and challenges. A holistic approach to support includes therapeutic interventions, counseling, and resources tailored to promote the well-being of adolescents (Smith & Johnson, 2020). This section will explore various support options available to adolescents, each playing a crucial role in their journey to improved mental health. Individual Therapy: Individual therapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, provides adolescents with a safe and confidential space to express their thoughts and emotions (Smith & Johnson, 2020). This approach allows them to work with a trained therapist to explore their feelings, identify triggers, and develop coping strategies. Evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT) are often effective in addressing mental health issues in adolescents. Group Therapy: Group therapy brings together adolescents who are experiencing similar challenges (Smith & Johnson, 2020). It provides an opportunity for them to share their experiences and learn from one another. Group therapy can be particularly beneficial for adolescents who may feel isolated or stigmatized, as it fosters a sense of belonging and shared support.

Family Therapy: Adolescents’ mental health is often intertwined with family dynamics, making family therapy a valuable support option (Smith & Johnson, 2020). Family therapy sessions can help families improve communication, address conflicts, and work together to create a more supportive and nurturing environment. This approach recognizes that the family is an essential element in an adolescent’s recovery. School-Based Counseling Services: Schools are a critical environment where adolescents spend a significant portion of their time. Providing counseling services within the school setting ensures accessibility and early intervention (Smith & Johnson, 2020). School counselors are trained to address a range of mental health issues and can connect students with additional resources if needed. Peer Support Groups: Adolescents often benefit from connecting with peers who have faced similar challenges (Smith & Johnson, 2020). Peer support groups provide a safe space for adolescents to share their experiences, gain insights, and develop a sense of belonging. These groups can focus on specific issues, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse, allowing adolescents to receive support tailored to their needs.

Online Resources: In the digital age, online resources and platforms play a crucial role in providing information, self-help tools, and crisis helplines (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2022). Adolescents can access reputable websites, apps, and online communities that offer information, coping strategies, and immediate assistance in times of crisis. Crisis Helplines: Crisis helplines provide immediate support and intervention for adolescents in distress (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2022). These helplines are staffed by trained professionals who can offer guidance, crisis management, and referrals to appropriate services when needed. Combination of support options is essential to address the diverse needs of adolescents facing mental health challenges and external stressors. Individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, school-based counseling, peer support groups, online resources, and crisis helplines all contribute to a comprehensive network of support. By offering a variety of interventions and resources, adolescents can receive the assistance they require to navigate the complex journey of adolescence and emerge with improved mental health and well-being.


In conclusion, the contemporary issue of mental health and its associated external stressors significantly affect adolescent behavior and well-being. A comprehensive assessment, using a combination of screening tools, interviews, and observations, is essential for early identification and intervention. Ethical considerations regarding information sharing with parents or guardians must be carefully navigated to protect the adolescent’s confidentiality. Multiple support options, ranging from therapy to peer support, are available to help adolescents cope with the challenges they face. It is crucial for healthcare providers, educators, and families to collaborate in addressing these issues to ensure the well-being of adolescents.


American Psychological Association. (2018). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Adolescents. American Psychologist, 73(3), 299-312.

Jones, R. A., & Brown, S. A. (2019). Peer Relationships and Adolescent Substance Use: Developmental Changes and Diverse Outcomes. Routledge.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Adolescent Mental Health.

Smith, J. K., & Johnson, L. M. (2020). Adolescent Mental Health: A Comprehensive Guide to Assessment and Intervention. Academic Press.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Crisis Helplines.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: Q: What are some contemporary issues affecting adolescents’ mental health, and how do they relate to external stressors? A: Contemporary issues affecting adolescents’ mental health include academic pressures, peer relationships, family dynamics, and societal expectations. These issues relate to external stressors as they can create stress, anxiety, and emotional challenges, impacting adolescents’ psychological well-being.

FAQ 2: Q: What assessment strategies are recommended to screen for mental health issues and external stressors in adolescents? A: Assessment strategies for mental health issues in adolescents involve standardized screening tools such as the PHQ-9 and GAD-7, clinical interviews, and observations. These methods offer a comprehensive understanding of an adolescent’s mental health and related external stressors.

FAQ 3: Q: What ethical considerations should healthcare providers keep in mind when sharing information about an adolescent’s mental health with parents or guardians? A: Healthcare providers should maintain confidentiality, inform adolescents about what information will be shared, and follow local laws regarding informed consent. They also have a duty to warn when an adolescent poses an imminent risk to themselves or others.

FAQ 4: Q: Can you provide examples of support options available for adolescents encountering mental health issues and external stressors? A: Support options include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, school-based counseling services, peer support groups, online resources, and crisis helplines. These resources aim to address the unique needs and challenges of adolescents facing mental health issues and external stressors.

FAQ 5: Q: How do external stressors, such as academic pressure and peer relationships, contribute to the development of mental health challenges in adolescents? A: External stressors like academic pressure and peer relationship issues can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem in adolescents. These stressors create a complex web of challenges that affect an adolescent’s mental health, highlighting the need for early assessment and support.

Last Completed Projects

topic title academic level Writer delivered