If friends, family or things that the teen usually enjoys don't help to improve his or her sadness or sense of isolation, there's a good chance that he or she is depressed.

Here are some suggestions for helping to encourage positive self-esteem in your teen: As children grow, they begin to spend more time with their friends and less time with their parents.

As a result, friends can influence a child's thinking and behavior. Peer pressure can be a positive influence—for example, when it motivates your child to do well in school, or to become involved in sports or other activities.

Following are some tips for addressing drugs, alcohol and tobacco use with your teen: Talking with your teenager is important to help him or her develop healthy attitudes toward sex and to learn responsible sexual behavior.

Openly discussing sex with your teen also enables you to provide accurate information. But what they learn might not be true, and might not reflect the personal and moral values and principles you want your children to follow.

During this time of change, teens are faced with many issues and decisions.

The following addresses some of the key issues that can have an impact on a teen's social development. The development of a positive self-image and a healthy self-esteem is very important for making a successful transition from child to adult.

Last weekend I went back for a reunion of old friends at my alma mater, the University of Missouri-Columbia, located in the heartland of America.

While wandering around campus, I noticed that just about every student had a cell phone out to read text messages or check voicemails as they walked around — whether they had friends nearby or not.

Suicide is a serious problem within the teen population.

Adolescent suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults in the United States.

On the other hand, peer pressure can be a negative influence—for example, when it prompts your child to try smoking, drinking, using drugs, or to practice unsafe sex or other risky behaviors.