If you, or someone you know is having trouble with a teen, take a few moments and answer the following questionnaire to see if this teen is at risk. This can serve as a point of reference for you in understanding the severity of the problems your teen is currently facing.
Sometimes the problems are so severe that they can only be properly addressed by getting professional help in a controlled environment, such as a residential center, treatment program or specialty school that is designed to deal with troubled teens. Other times problems can be resolved right in the home by setting better limits and tightening up the basic family rules and structure.
After completing the questionnaire, count how many questions you answer “yes” to and refer to the scoring guide which will offer suggestions, and recommendations based on the results of your own responses.
- Are you concerned about your child’s well being and their future?
- Are you concerned that your teen may be sexually promiscuous?
- Are you exhausted and worn out from your teen’s defiant and/or destructive behavior and choices?
- Are you worried that your teen may not finish high school?
- Do you find yourself picking your words carefully when speaking to your teen, so as not to elicit a verbal attack or rage from them?
- Do you have a lack of trust with your teen?
- Do you have trouble getting your teen to do simple household chores or homework?
- Do you suspect at times you have had money or other valuables from your home?
- Do you suspect that your teen sometimes lies or is dishonest with you?
- Do you think your teen is possibly using or experimenting with drugs/alcohol?
- Does your teen associate with a bad peer group?
- Does your teen engage in activities you don’t approve of?
- Does your teen ever display violent behavior?
- Does your teen have problems with authority?
- Does your teen seem depressed/withdrawn?
- Does your teen seem to constantly be in opposition to your family values?
- Does your teen seem to demonstrate a lack of motivation?
- Does your teen seem to lack self-esteem and self-worth?
- Does your teen struggle with basic family rules and expectations?
- Does your teen’s behavior concern you for their safety?
- Has your teen ever been suspended, expelled, truant, or had a drop in school grades?
- Has your teen ever displayed any evidence of suicide ideation?
- Has your teen had problems with the law?
- Has your teen lost interest in former productive activities, hobbies or sports?
- Has your teen’s appearance and/or personal hygiene changed?
- Is your teen angry or display temper outbursts?
- Is your teen manipulative and/or deceitful?
- Is your teen verbally abusive?
- No matter what rules and consequences are established, do you feel that your teen will defy them?
- When dealing with your teen, do you often feel that you are powerless?
Is your teen at risk? What your results indicate:
18+: High risk.
Get help! A residential treatment program or specialty boarding school is strongly recommended.
9-17: Borderline risk.
It is possible that the problems can be resolved by tightening up the family rules and structure. However, it may be that your child is at-risk. Residential treatment program or specialty boarding school needs to be considered. Some parents consider a boot camp or wilderness program.
Up to 8: Moderate risk.
Tighten up family rules/understandings, and be consistent with your monitoring and follow through, you may consider counseling or a therapist.
Questionaire Provided By: Help For Troubled Teens
© 1999 Teen Help Adolescent Services All Rights Reserved.
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