The main characteristics of juvenile distress are: (a) a tendency towards anti-social behaviour, particularly as expressed in acts of unprecedented violence; (b) a revolution in sexual mores encouraging a tendency to promiscuity and perversion; (c) a wave of contagion that makes an obsession out of every new kind of stimulus (hot jazz, hot dancing, hot cars); (d) a leaning towards over-conformity with family and community or with a peer group; (e) an associated trend towards static-mindedness, a loss of adventure and creative spark; (f) a tendency to withdrawal, toward a loss of hope and faith, towards disillusionment and despair with progressive destruction of ideals; (g) a failure on the part of the adolescent to harmonize his goals with those of his family or society; (h) a trend toward disorientation, confusion, fragmentation of personal identity; (i) an increasing vulnerability of the adolescent to mental illness, as a result of aggravated orders of social adaptation.
Adolescent disturbance needs is partly a result of the turmoil and instability of marital partnerships, the insecurity of parents and the disintegrative trends in family life as a whole. There is something deeply wrong, but it is not just with adolescents. It is with the whole mode of family life. Social health shows signs of failing and the effects of this failure cast a long shadow on our mental health. Family and community today fail to provide a receptive climate for the adolescent's needs.