The Effects of Teenage Rebellion

If a teenager chooses rebellion as a means of retaliation or to deal with negative feelings, the cost can have involve long-term consequences. Teenagers often don't have the vision that enables them to look past their current unhappiness or frustration to see the serious effects that might result from rebellion.

Self-destructive Behavior

Rebellion often serves as a vehicle to express a teenager’s anger, hurt or frustration in connection with parents, friends, society or the world in general. Many behaviors connected with rebellion fall under the heading of self-destruction, including tobacco, drugs and alcohol use, according to the MindCompass website, a parenting resource website. Refusing to perform school work is another example of self-destructive behavior associated with rebellion, according to psychologist Carl Pickhardt, with the Psychology Today website 1.

Loss of Identity

A teenager embroiled in rebellion might actively throw off anything and everything connected to his parents and their values. Typically, this process also involves the rejection of many of the self-interests that the teen used to enjoy, warns psychologist Rachel Whipple, in a Perelman School of Medicine newsletter. A teen might lose significant parts of his former identity as a result of rebellion.

Losing Relationships

When a teenager starts engaging in self-destructive or risk-taking behaviors, it’s possible she will lose relationships. The adolescent might begin behaving erratically, provocatively and offensively, which can have a variety of effects. She might frighten some old friends and cause them to cut off contact. She might also begin pushing people away in a effort to motivate others to discontinue a relationship.

Criminal Activity

Criminal activity might be another effect of teenage rebellion. While drugs or alcohol are obvious infractions, teens might also engage in fighting, physical abuse, stealing or destruction of property, according to an article at the Empowering Parents website. Criminal activity brings the additional element of the legal system, which can lead to significant and even permanent consequences for your child. If a teenager refuses to respect parental authority and continues to engage in criminal activity, one option you have is to involve the police. Although this would be difficult, the long-term result might be a successful intervention that stops the patterns of rebellion and helps your teen begin making more positive choices.