2Counseling Schedule: Early Adolescence VISITINTRODUCE11 to 14YEARSFamily Time TogetherPeer RelationshipsSupport SystemStaying SafeTeen Mental HealthConflict Resolution SkillsHealthy DatingGaining Independence
3Early AdolescenceIndependence is an overarching characteristic of the early teen yearsBecoming independent means being more responsible for one’s own safetyHelp teens stay safe by teaching them how to avoid violence through good communication skillsEffective communication is the common thread for the Connected Kids early adolescence counseling
4Early AdolescenceTalk with teens and parents about activities that help families stay connected; many teens are unsure about family relationships1Parents influence their teen children; discuss parental use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugsInvolving adults from outside the family has a positive effect on teen development2Encourage teens to get involved in their communities; it is one of the best ways to help them stay safe3
5Early AdolescenceTeens with friends engaged in risky behaviors are more likely to imitate these behaviors4Conversely, friends involved in constructive, prosocial activities encourage healthy and safe behaviorsTeen dating violence affects approximately 1 in 8 high school students. Discuss healthy dating with both teens and their parents5Youth who have a variety of ways to solve conflicts are less likely to be hurt in a fight or arrested6
6F I S T S Fighting Injuries Sex Threats Self-defense Early Adolescence Use this mnemonic as the basis for assessing an adolescent’s risk for involvement in violence. See the Connected Kids Clinical Guide for more details.
7Early Adolescence Counseling for Parents Address parents’ concerns about safety while still helping them encourage their teen’s independenceWhat do you think of your teenager’s friends?How are you monitoring your teenager?How do you negotiate rules of behavior?What kind of activities does your child enjoy?What most concerns you about your teenager’s safety?
8Early Adolescence Counseling for Youth With independence comes the responsibility for staying safe.Whom do you turn to for advice and encouragement?Whom do you go to for help if you’re having trouble in your relationship?What do you do to stay safe?What after-school activities are you involved with?What do you and your friends like to do?
10Talking With Your Teen: Tips for Parents Early AdolescenceDescribes typical teen behaviors and feelings and emphasizes parent-child communication as independence increasesTeaches parents how to:establish reasonable limitsencourage safety as independence increases
11How to Use this Tool Helpful Hints! Initiate discussion at puberty by asking,“I’m sure there are many other changes going on that you can’t see with your eyes, aren’t there?”Speak with parents regarding concerns about their child’s pubertyHelpful Hints!Having both teens and parents read this brochure may encourage better communication between parent and childAsk parents to think about their own adolescence and how they behaved and coped at this age
12Staying Cool When Things Heat Up Early AdolescenceEncourages teens to think about ways to resolve conflicts other than fightingDiscusses the role bystanders play in promoting violent behavior
13How to Use this Tool Helpful Hints! Use different approaches based on violence history:“You’re very healthy, but I’m worried about all the fights you’re getting into.”“Your exam looks good and I’m also glad to hear that you haven’t been getting into a lot of fights.”Helpful Hints!Some clinicians leave this brochure in the waiting room for patients to read beforehandIt may help to let patients know that this information came from other teenagers.
14Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships Early AdolescenceDiscusses healthy relationships and ways to recognize and prevent partner violenceTeens are still experimenting with intimate relationships and may be more open to improving the quality of their relationshipsWhile designed for all teenagers, it had the most resonance with young female teens in focus groups.
15How to Use this Tool Helpful Hints! Introduce when teens show an interest in relationships, dating, and sexual behaviorDiscuss healthy relationships along with physical concerns such as sexually transmitted diseasesCan be used with sex education courses in schoolsHelpful Hints!Today we have discussed some of the physical issues of intimate relationships, but the emotional issues are just as important.At the end of an exam, say:
16Teen Dating Violence: Tips for Parents Early AdolescenceDiscusses parental response when partner abuse is suspectedThe main concern for parents is their child’s happiness and welfare, not pointing out what is wrong with the abusive partner
17How to Use this Tool Helpful Hint! Encourage parents to:empathize with what their child is experiencingsupport their child in finding and maintaining non-abusive, healthy relationshipsHelpful Hint!Give this brochure to parents at the same time Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships is given to teenagers
18Counseling Schedule: Middle Adolescence VISITINTRODUCE15 – 17YEARSPlans for the FutureFirearms and SuicideDepressionResiliency
19Middle AdolescenceThere is a direct link between assets and the risk for violence and future success7Identify and support a teen’s:strengthsfunctional abilitiespositive relationships with othersconnections to groups, role models, and mentors
20Middle AdolescenceA key in helping teens avoid violence is to teach them how to:assess risk and make an immediate decisionthink about the long-term consequences of that decision
21Middle Adolescence Counseling for Parents Help parents with the teen’s dilemma of quick decisions and long-term consequences.If you have guns, how do you store them?How do you stay in touch with your teen?How is your teen getting along with friends?Do you talk about future plans?What non-school activities is your teen involved with?
22Middle Adolescence Counseling for Youth Teens are living in the moment, but need to think about the future.Do you have somebody to talk to when you feel sad?What do you want to do after high school graduation?Can you get a gun if you want to?What do you like best about yourself?How do you get along with your friends?
24Objectively discusses guns and gun storage Teen Suicide and GunsMiddle AdolescenceDiscusses the risks of guns in the home and the link to completed teen suicidesObjectively discusses guns and gun storage
25How to Use this Tool Helpful Hints! Use on an individual basis to support counselingCan be distributed to schools and community groupsParents of teens with mood disorders may benefit from this along with the brochure Help Stop Teenage SuicideHelpful Hints!Did you hear about the teen who killed himself last month? I’m talking about this with all of my teenage patients.Use current events:
26Connecting With Your Community Middle AdolescenceTeenagers who are involved in their communities are less likely to be involved with:alcoholdrugsviolencepromiscuous sexual activity
27How to Use this Tool Helpful Hints! As relationships with their parents become more complex, additional adult role models become more important for teensSupport teens in finding adults in the community who believe in and support themHelpful Hints!Schools and community groups can help find opportunities that meet the interests and talents of young adultsIt may be beneficial for clinics to develop a resource guide for teens about local community groups
28Counseling Schedule: Late Adolescence VISITINTRODUCE18 – 21YEARSTransition toIndependenceNegotiating a New Environment(Post High School)
29Late Adolescence Transitioning to independence is a gradual process Bringing closure to this process is essentialMany older teenagers are likely to be moving out of the home to:higher educationtheir own living situationan entirely new communityThis is exciting and stressful for both teen and parent
30Late Adolescence Counseling for Youth Support patients with the transition to becoming a young adult.What are your plans down the road?Do you plan to move out of your parents’ home?Whom do you talk to about your future plans?Can I help with getting you where you want to go?How do you feel about moving out?
32Help Stop Teenage Suicide Late AdolescenceTalks about common myths, gives the warning signs, and stresses that many teen suicides occur with little forethoughtDesigned for teens, parents, and other caregivers
33How to Use this Tool Helpful Hint! Use with patients with mental health issues, especially mood or conduct disorders, that often develop during these yearsStress link between presence of a handgun and increased likelihood of lethal suicide attemptsHelpful Hint!Teens who think they may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are at an increased risk for suicide; help them and their families find additional support
34Next Stop Adulthood: Tips for Parents Late AdolescenceTeens are renegotiating parental relationships as they transition into adult responsibilitiesHelps parents let go while encouraging teens to seek guidance from their parents
35How to Use this Tool Helpful Hints! Use as a catalyst to discuss increasing independenceTeens who are already in trouble may need a social worker to help better understand and implement these conceptsHelpful Hints!It is helpful to discuss employment, community service, sports, clubs, and other pursuitsTeenagers need positive engagement with their outside community in order to thrive!
36References1. Kingon YS, O'Sullivan AL. The family as a protective asset in adolescent development. J Holist Nurs. 2001;19:2. Jekielek SM, Moore KA, Hair EC, Scarupa HJ. Mentoring: a promising strategy for youth development. Child Trends Research Brief. Washington, DC: Child Trends; Available at Accessed June 27, 20053. McMahon SD, Singh JA, Garner LS, Benhorin S. Taking advantage of opportunities: community involvement, well-being, and urban youth. J Adolesc Health. 2004;34:4. Urberg KA, Luo Q, Pilgrim C, Degirmencioglu SM. A two-stage model of peer influence in adolescent substance use: individual and relationship-specific differences in susceptibility to influence. Addict Behav. 2003;28:5. Grunbaum JA, Kann L, Kinchen SA, et al. Youth risk behavior surveillance--United States, MMWR Surveill Summ. 2002;51:1-626. Slaby RG, Guerra NG. Cognitive mediators of aggression in adolescent offenders: I. Assessment. Dev Psychol. 1988;24:7. Sampson RJ, Raudenbush SW, Earls F. Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science. 1997;277:
37Elizabeth Hatmaker-Flanigan, MS AcknowledgmentsHoward Spivak, MDRobert Sege, MD, PhDElizabeth Hatmaker-Flanigan, MSBonnie KozialVincent LicenziatoKimberly Bardy, MPHThis project was supported by Grant No JN-FX-0011 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.