Research Behind the RAAPS Questions (Question #19)

Do you have any serious issues or worries at home or at school?

The period of adolescence is often filled with increased stress over school, friends, or family.  As youth struggle to cope with social, emotional, and physiological stressors they may easily become overwhelmed. If this happens, inadequately managed stress can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, or other mental health disorders.

Did you know?

  • –  One in five youth ages 9-17 are estimated to experience serious emotional disturbances or other mental health problems.

Without appropriate guidance or treatment, these emotional and mental health problems could lead to poor academic behavior, family problems, substance use, unintentional injuries, juvenile incarceration, or suicide.

Family and societal stress may cause adolescents to act out in a delinquent manner. Adolescent ethnic minority groups often receive poorer quality of mental health treatment and are less likely to access services. Furthermore, African American youth, especially males, are more likely than other ethnic/racial youth groups to be referred to the juvenile justice system as opposed to mental health treatment.

Try these messages with youth:

  • – Everyone feels nervous, anxious or worried at times. It is common for new or challenging situations to make you feel this way.  However, these feelings should not stop you from doing the things you want to do. Talking to a trusted adult can help you to work through your worries and find solutions. Remember that you are not alone and that there are people that care and want to help you.
  • –  Learning how to relax and deal with stress can help you feel more like yourself.  Try some of the following: deep breathing exercises or yoga to relax your mind and body, get enough sleep and exercise, eat well, take a walk or squeeze something (like a stress ball).
  • –  Spend time with people close to you who accept you and make you feel safe, sometimes the people around you may not be giving you the support you need or deserve.
  • –  Remember to focus on the positive things in your life and work through issues one at a time.
  • –  Manage your time with a planner and with achievable to-do lists to not feel overwhelmed.


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