Need help with my Psychology question – I’m studying for my class.
In my opinion, I believe teenagers should work because working sets the foundation for adulthood. Children need to be taught basic lessons about working such as if you do not work, you do not eat. No one in the world is going to give handouts that allows adults to sit at home and not work. A lot of our youth are taking risks such as doing drugs. Even for teenagers, some jobs require that the individual passes a drug test. Adolescent risk taking is widely recognized as a behavior by which teens assert their independence from the constraints of their childhood years. (Nichols & Good, 2004). Our youth must not give into peer pressure if they want to be successful in life. In some cases, drugs start to destroy their lives and they can never recover throughout life. The effects are not worth the risk. Approximately 9.5% of students have used some form of cocaine during their lifetime and 4% have used cocaine one or more times in the past 30 days. (Nichols & Good, 2004). In most households, working as a teenager is a trait is passed down from generation to generation because the parents had to work at a young age to ensure the family had enough food and necessities. In previous decades, this caused a lot of teenagers to drop out of school and not complete their education. Modern youth workers include male and female teens of all ages, from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, still it is more common for some types of students to work than it is for others. (Nichols & Good, 2004). In my experiences, most of my friends in high school that were raised in wealthy families tended not to work because their parents brought them everything they ever wanted, but I believe, in most cases, this leads to teaching your child bad traits because they will feel that they can just ask mom and dad for money when they get into a bad situation even as adult. Nichols and Good (2004) shows that my opinion is false as most children from wealthy households worked than youth from lower income families.
According to Nichols and Good, during the era of the nineteenth century when the young people were first categorized and seen as “teenagers”, G. Stanley Hall was the first person to emphasize the concept of adolescent and also was the first to address this as “sturm und drang (or storm and stress) to explain the strangeness of youth (Nichols and Good, 2004). This was the first initial bad reputation of the youth going through adolescence, and it is where it began how society started to view the youth with fear and look at them as chaos, therefore devaluing them as a category. Nichols and Good declares that youth are devalued and mistreated in today’s society more so than before in history, it has gotten much worse overtime leading up to now.
Ultimately, people fear and devalue teenagers because of their “bad” reputation, more specifically bad behavior in which Nichols and Good mentions “is often viewed as inevitable and unchangeable” (Nichols and Good, 2004). Society has made it a point to categorize teens or the youth as a group deserving of fear from adults and elders and that they should also expect to be receive punishment for wrongdoings or wrongdoings they are YET to commit.
Nichols and Good argue that teenagers should be viewed as a “critical resource”; the percentage of children and young adults in the current and upcoming generations are decreasing, due to the decrease in birthrate and elderly are increasing in their percentage contribution to the American population. Due to this, “fewer Americans will be able to maintain the various roles required by a productive society” (Nichols and Good, 2004). I highly and strongly agree to Nichols and Good’s standpoint and argument in how we need to do better as a nation and society to see the value and erase the extreme bad reputation and belief about our teenagers or young people as our nation’s future securely depends on them and the impact they hold. Nichols and Good describes how important it is for society to start focusing on the education, wellbeing and the outlook of teenagers towards society as a whole given the heavy power that they hold for the future.
Nichols, S. and Good, T., 2004. America’s Teenagers – Myths And Realities. 1st ed. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
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