The changes that teens experience as they enter puberty affect them in many ways, including hormonal changes that can impact their mood and behavior. Increases in testosterone levels in boys can result in greater irritability and expressions of anger. Hormone changes in girls can have similar effects. However, when your teen’s emotional or behavior disruption begins to occur more days than not, when school performance and/or relationships are negatively affected to a significant degree, and/or when the disruption persists over many weeks or months, your child may have a more significant emotional problem that needs to be addressed.
It is important to note that many factors can contribute to changes in a teen’s mood and behavior (e.g., increased stress, sleep deprivation, conflicts with peers or family members, substance use). If you think the problem is more than just teen hormones, it may be helpful to get a psychological assessment or initiate individual counseling to clearly identify the sources of the problem and solutions. Also, a physical examination could prove useful in ruling out any medical issues that could be contributing to the problem.