Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
adolescents, affluent, pressures, study, findings
The purpose of this research is to identify and discuss the pressures of adolescents who come from affluent families in American society. This is an important group to study, because recent studies suggest there are misconceptions regarding how “privileged,” or isolated from psychosocial maladjustment, these adolescents may actually be. 21 qualitative, in-depth interviews with college students were conducted at a private institution in order to analyze possible areas of distress and mental health concerns. Findings suggest that upper class youth have a unique set of stressors that can potentially lead to mental health problems. High achievement pressures, excessive parental criticism, and perfectionism were salient themes found among affluent youth in this study. In addition, substance abuse was identified as a prevalent coping mechanism. Comparisons between findings of this study and other research of affluent adolescents and their pressures are made and discussed.
Berger, Darcy, "The Privilege Paradox: The Effect of Affluence on the Adolescent Experience" (2016). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 272.