Topics for a Research Paper on Adolescents

Topics for a Research Paper on Adolescents

The developmental period of adolescence is characterized by independence, rebellion and risk-taking. Research paper topics about youth experiencing this developmental time period provide a fascinating backdrop for an engaging read. You can write about one of the many problems or issues confronting adolescents today, or you can write a more scientifically-oriented piece about the changes taking place in the adolescent mind and body. You could also write about trends in adolescent social or political culture. Any of these topics can be improved by interviewing teenagers to gain their personal perspective that supplements research from books and websites.

1 Self-Harm and Suicide

Adolescents are more likely than other age groups to commit suicide or otherwise harm themselves intentionally. You can explore the ample research available regarding why adolescents harm themselves and consider offering credible research about intervention strategies. Similarly, a well-developed research paper may include contributing factors like bullying in schools, isolation from friends and access to services. Bullying often starts much earlier than adolescence, but it can be at its cruelest during teen years. Discuss the root causes of bullying, as well as its negative consequences and how it can be prevented.

2 Eating Disorders

Write about the various eating disorders that affect adolescents, such as bulimia and anorexia. Discuss their causes, which groups are most affected by them, their consequences and how they can be treated or prevented.

3 Drug Abuse

Though drug abuse often continues into adulthood, many addicts begin using drugs during their teen years. Discuss the effects of drug addiction and the most common drugs available to adolescents. Write about strategies for combating drug abuse among teens, such as drug education programs, as well as obstacles that get in the way of young people seeking or completing treatment.

4 Alcohol Use

Alcohol use among teenagers is prevalent. Discuss the causes of alcohol use, including peer pressure or a family history of alcoholism, and explore its social and legal consequences. Write about alternatives to drinking and ways in which alcohol use can be discouraged.

5 Sexuality

The issue of teen sexuality is complex and controversial, meaning there will be plenty of material to write about. For example, you could discuss issues related to safe sex, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, date rape and sexual education.

6 Media Influence

Rather than simply discussing some issue that teens face, write about how the media influences the issue. This can very easily apply to drug use, alcohol use, sexuality, self-harm and eating disorders, because all of these problems frequently appear in various types of media. You could also argue that the media makes problems worse by glamorizing sex and drugs or by creating unrealistic standards for beauty.

7 Trends

Adolescents are often the most plugged in to pop culture. Consider topics like fashion trends, social media and networking or political movements. A scientific angle might include physical issues such as hormones, growth spurts and sexual maturity, or it can be more focused on the study of teen psychology.

Eric Moll began writing professionally in 2006. He wrote an opinion column for the "Arizona Daily Wildcat" and worked as an editor for "Persona Literary Magazine." He has a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and creative writing from the University of Arizona.