In western society, the time of adolescence is the time lips when young people are confronted with the problem of self-definition and identity. These problems are exacerbated by biological changes, as well as social and intercultural differences. One of the most common generalized problems of adolescence is that teenagers are attempting to grapple with the problems of a social system that maintains a particularly ambiguous nature.
Immediately, one must acknowledge that society itself contributes significantly to the way that adolescence is culturally transmitted. Kroger (1989) acknowledged that society was the main contributor to the way that most adolescents viewed themselves and the world. This, of course, engenders many conflicting relationships between teenagers and society, and often puts them at odds with their peers, parents, and other authority figures (Adelson, 1986).
Under that rubric, this paper will examine and overview several problems faced by adolescents in contemporary American society. These problems, while certainly not common to every adolescent, are among the more serious challenges faced by both parents and young people alike. These problems will include alcohol abuse, drug abuse, suicide, communication with authority figures, and problems in school. Using these five aspects, the paper will discuss the way these problems are affecting adolescents, and offer some solutions that parents, clergy, or counselors might use in dealing with them.