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Troubled Teens Statistics

Updated on December 12, 2012

Troubled Teens Statistics

In this article, we would like to discuss some of the troubled teen statistics for depression, suicide and outcome measures for placement into wilderness programs and therapeutic boarding schools.

The most prevelant mental disorder among adolescents and adults is depression. Along with depression there are many other risk factors to be aware of such as substance abuse, lack of motivation in all aspects of life, low-self esteem and suicide risk.

Teenage Depression statistics demonstrate that adolescent depression is a common problem:

  • About 20 percent of adolescents will experience teen depression prior to reaching adulthood
  • Between 10 to 15 percent of teenagers experience at least some symptoms of depression at any given time
  • About 5 percent of adolescents are suffering from major depression at any given time
  • Up to 8.3 percent of adolescents suffer from symptoms of depression for at least a year at a time
  • Most teens will suffer from more than one episode of depression. About 20 to 40 percent of teens will experience more than one episode within a period of two years, and 70 percent of troubled teens will experience another episode before adulthood. The average episode of teen depression lasts about eight months.

Teen depression seems to strike regardless of demographics such as: gender, social background, income level, race, school or other achievements. Although, teenage girls report suffering from depression more often than teenage boys. This may due to the fact that teenage girls tend to be more open about their feelings whereas teenage boys seem to be less communicative in discussing how they feel.

Risk factors that may increase the chances of an episode of teenage depression include:

  • Prior experience of teen depression
  • Experiencing abuse or trauma
  • Family history of depression; between 20 to 50 percent of teens who suffer from depression have a family member with depression
  • About two thirds of teenagers who are experiencing symptoms of depression also suffer from another mental disorder, addiction to alcohol or drugs, oppositional defiant disorderor anxiety.

Acording to the National Conference of State Legislatures, teenagers suffering from symptoms of depression is at a higher risk for other complications such as suicide:

  • 19.3 percent of high school age teenagers have seriously considered killing themselves
  • 14.5 percent of high school aged teens have made actual plans for committing suicide
  • Over 900,000 troubled teens planned their suicides during an episode of major depression.

According to, suicide is the third leading cause of death for teenagers ages 14 and up. The only other two causes of death that rank higher than suicide is vehicular accidents and teenage cancer.

Gender differences in teen suicide

Teenage statistics for suicide demonstrate two very differenct approaches in handling this despairing act. For example, girls are twice as likely to think about committing suicide while teenage boys are four times as likely to actually die from suicide attempts.

Parents must take teenage depression seriously as it can literally be the difference between life and death. A teen who is experiencing symptoms of depression should be provided with professional help immediately. For parents, some options may include adolescent psychiatric centers, residential treamtent centers, or therapeutic boarding schools.

For anyone suffering from symptoms of depression who is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please consider calling the National Suicide Hotline at: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Troubled Teens Statistics

This really breaks down the process for parents who are considering placement for their son or daughter whether that is in a wilderness program or a therapeutic boarding school.
This really breaks down the process for parents who are considering placement for their son or daughter whether that is in a wilderness program or a therapeutic boarding school. | Source


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    • parentresources profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I think it is so critical to provide parents and teens with great information!

    • abbykorinnelee profile image

      Abigayle Rourk 

      8 years ago from Ripon, Wisconsin

      You have some really good points that you can build off of for future hubs I am sure. I did one on teen issues as well and you went more into the depression aspect and that is such an important one. Good job.


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