Resources for Defiant Teens

by Sandra L. Campbell, Demand Med​ia

Get the right resources to help your troubled teen

Adolescence can be fraught with tumultuous changes -- both for teens and parents. However,
when a teen undergoes a significant behavior change that involves defying social norms,
established rules and authority figures, it's crucial to obtain the necessary resources to
prevent the teen from doing irreparable harm to herself and others.

Defiance Disorders
Chronic defiance in teens can lead to disorders such as oppositional defiance and conduct
disorder. Teens with oppositional defiance disorder show frequent disregard of rules, argue
with adults and engage in vengeful or spiteful behavior. Adolescents who have conduct
disorder, a more serious condition, act out by committing violence against others, animals and
property. Left unchecked, defiant behavior in teens can lead to legal troubles. In fact,
according to a 2002 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry “Psychiatric
Disorders in Youth in Juvenile Detention,” 40 percent of male and female teens met criteria
for disruptive disorders such as oppositional defiant, conduct disorder and
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. However, resources are available to help parents get
their teens back on track.

American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association, the premier organization for psychologists, provides
resources and information on conditions that affect a teen's mental health and behavior.
Parents can find guidance on finding appropriate treatments and interventions for their
troubled teen. Examples of common treatment protocols for teens include psychotherapy,
cognitive therapy, which helps teens modify inappropriate behavior, and anger management
classes. Anger management courses help teens by providing strategies to manage negative
emotions and stress. The inability of a teen to handle conflicting emotions and stress can
cause a teen to act out inappropriately. The American Psychological Association has a
provider locator link for parents to find professional help for their teen.

Mental Health America
Mental Health America provides a variety of resources to help parents gather information
about behavioral problems with teens and other mental-health related conditions. The
organization also has material of support groups around the country as well as information on
seeking professional treatment for teens. Additionally, a parent can contact the organization if
a teen is experiencing a crisis.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers in-depth information, fact
sheets and resources for parents on defiance disorders and stress-related conditions. The
site provides links for parents to access child and adolescent psychiatrists who specialize in
treating and diagnosing conditions that affect a teen's thinking, emotions and behavior.

Parent and Teen Resources
The Parent and Teen Resources site provides assistance to parents who are seeking specific
programs and schools for defiant teens. The site offers information on therapeutic boarding
schools, boot camps and residential programs which specialize in treating teens with
behavioral issues. Parents can also find information about financial assistance for treatment
programs and guidance on what to look for in specific programs. Parents can fill out the
contact form on-site or call for assistance.

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