Preventing substance disorders in adolescents



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Part 1. Main Entry:  Post a brief analysis of what you have learned from this week’s readings and activities.  Start a new thread, and place the header – Name’s Main Entry (e.g.,  Makonnan’s Main Entry) at the top.  Within the body of your post, clearly identify each segment of the required response in order to facilitate discussion development.

a. This week’s great takeaway:  What concept or theory did you find most interesting this week?  Why?

b. Sharing of thoughts:  Respond to one of the following topics…

1. How do cultural ideals and timing of puberty affect an adolescent’s body image?  How is this topic addressed within the developmental literature?  Do research findings have practical impact?  Why or why not?

2.  Discuss social problems facing youth such as suicide, juvenile delinquency, and victimization. What kinds of recommendations would you make to help reduce these problems?  What empirical research supports one of your recommendations?  ‘

Part 2. Post Constructive Peer Feedback: In addition to posting your thoughts to the main entry questions, respond to at least TWO (2) of your classmates’ entries.  In 3 or more sentences, provide constructive feedback.  Do you have some additional thoughts on the topic?  Share them.  When providing your feedback present the logic behind it.



Classmate 1

a. The future school counselor in me couldn’t help but to be intrigued by the material from this week’s readings regarding school during adolescence. I found it to be very interesting that middle school (in my experience, grades 6-8) was created as a way to distinguish between early adolescence and late adolescence (Lumen, 2020). It only makes sense that the transition from elementary to middle school would be extremely stressful for students taking into account all of the changes they are experiencing during this period in life, and I can recall being quite nervous myself about this transition. This stressful time period can cause students to underperform academically and become discouraged, resulting in an increase in the rate of dropping out of school (U.S. Department of Education, 2008).

b. 2. One of the most common social problems that adolescent’s face is peer pressure. At the adolescent stage, children begin to spend less time with their parents and more time with their peers. Juvenile delinquency refers to the committing of a crime by an adolescent. Although social influences from peers could be a contributing factor to juvenile delinquency, there are other contributing factors as well such as poor parenting. For the sake of this discussion, I will discuss recommendations on how to reduce substance use among adolescents. Parental relationships, healthy communication with parents, monitoring without psychological control, and parental supervision are some of the most important ways parents could help reduce these problems. Griffin and Botvin (2010) discuss evidence-based interventions for preventing substance use among adolescents, and focus on school-based prevention programs, family-based prevention programs, and community-based prevention programs as being the most effective intervention methods for this social issue.


Griffin, K., and Botvin, G. (2010). Evidence-based interventions for preventing substance use disorders in adolescents.  Child Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 19(3), pp 505-526.  10.1016/j.chc.2010.03.005

Lumen. (2020). Lifespan Development.  Lumen Learning. 



classmate 2

Key Takeaway

My key takeaway from this week is the high suicide rate among adolescents. In my experience as a parent and volunteer in schools, I do not recall ever hearing about the problem of teen suicide. Parents and adolescents should be provided information on the risk of suicide and resources to help keep children in this stage of development safe.

Cultural Ideals affecting Body Image

One social problem facing the youth is anxiety about body image, which results in poor nutrition. (“Physical Development during Adolescence | Lifespan Development.”) As adolescents face changes in their bodies and sudden growth spurts, they can cause them to be uncomfortable and self-conscious. At the same time the relentless parade of media images that present a specific standard of beauty, along with teasing about body image and attractiveness, may have psychological ramifications. The cultural ideal of beauty based on a narrow range of body types create challenges for many adolescents. Weight, height, build, complexion and other physical attributes can create insecurity about body image.

Impact of timing of puberty on adolescent body image

Adolescents generally want to fit in with their peers. The non-uniform and sometimes unpredictable growth rates in adolescent years can lead to problems when children develop more slowly or more quickly than their peers. Girls developing more quickly than others may be subject to teasing and harassment. Boys developing more slowly than others are also subject to teasing and bullying. (“Physical Development during Adolescence | Lifespan Development.”)

Developmental Literature

In their 1998 Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry journal article Marion Kostanski and Eleonora Gullone demonstrated that body dissatisfaction in female and male adolescents correlated with body mass index with body dissatisfaction increasing as BMI increased. Depression and “Drive for Thinness” also increased along with BMI. From the abstract, “Interestingly, actual body mass and psychological well-being variables were found to be significantly related with PBID, whilst being independent of each other. Findings support proposals that PBID arises from a complex interplay of factors, including gender, self-esteem, and actual body mass. In particular, our findings highlight the need for future research of a prospective nature incorporating psychological, sociocultural, and maturational factors.” (Kostanski and Gullone, “Adolescent Body Image Dissatisfaction.”)


“Physical Development during Adolescence | Lifespan Development.” Accessed October 24, 2022.

Kostanski, Marion, and Eleonora Gullone. “Adolescent Body Image Dissatisfaction: Relationships with Self-Esteem, Anxiety, and Depression Controlling for Body Mass.”  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 39, no. 2 (February 1998): 255–62.

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