Social problems among teenagers, including social anxiety, depression, violence, underage drinking and early pregnancy, have been attributed to a number of possible causes, including the excessive use of online social networking, sleep deprivation, poor family, religious or community relations and the onset of 'early puberty. The latter of these possible causes has been suggested by researchers at University College, London, who observed that reaching physical maturity nowadays occurs at a much earlier age than finishing education or even being able to vote, which might result in feelings of frustration or inferiority among teenagers.
Social networking is considered problematic because it often leads to sleep deprivation, with some teenagers remaining in contact with their friends long into the night. While this might seem like healthy social behavior, social networking might also be detrimental to social development. Teenagers who spend more time online than actually talking to people in the flesh are at a disadvantage when it comes to learning and recognizing nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expressions.
Developing strong family relations is a good way to prevent social problems among teenagers. In particular, social anxiety can be curtailed by rewarding courageous or non-avoiding behavior. Parents should also teach their children to tackle their problems and negative thoughts constructively, either by brainstorming solutions with them or refusing to give excessive reassurance that would ultimately limit their capacity for self-reliance.