This paper examines the literature on adolescent stress and its treatment. The topics discussed include: diagnoses; effects of stress; and therapeutic interventions designed to remediate the effects.
Diagnoses. Jones (1992) defines adolescent stress as a negative emotion experienced as the result of a variety of life stressors (e.g. maturational processes, family conflict, school problems, etc.). The negative emotion arising from stress is said to be strongly associated with doubts about coping.
According to Jones (1992), most commonly, the condition of adolescent stress is diagnosed through a variety of instruments developed to measure stress. For example, Forman (1983) found that the Adolescent Life Change Events Scale is valid and reliable for measuring both the amount and intensity of stress in samples of high school students. Based on these data it was concluded by Forman that the Adolescent Life Change Event Scale suggested that it was a valid tool for use in adolescent stress research.
Another instrument utilized to assess stress levels in adolescent populations is the Life Experiences Survey. This instrument was tested by Mullis, Youngs, Mullis and Rathge (1993) to determine if variations in the construction and scoring of the stress measure for 1,740 adolescents (aged 1419 years) yielded different outcomes.
Scoring methods included frequency, sum, and average scores as indications of positive stress, negative stress, and a combination of both. Two types of comparison were used. First, the extent to which these scoring methods were intercorrelated was assessed to determine whether each measured similar or dissimilar aspects of stress. Second, the relationships between these different methods and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventories were examined.
According to the authors, results revealed that frequency of life events and their average intensity were distinct measures and of equal importance w...