While experts have not defined a single cause for anxiety in teens, they have identified a variety of factors that may result in teen anxiety. Some of the factors and causes that contribute to anxiety in teens include:
- Physiological makeup
- Exposure to a stressful environment
- Post-traumatic stress
- Brain biochemistry
- Overactive fight-flight response
- Stressful life circumstances
- Learned behavior
When these different factors are considered, teen anxiety seems to originate in three categories: genetics, trauma, and learned behavior.
Teens with family members who have anxiety disorder are genetically more disposed, though not guaranteed, to experience anxiety. Teens who experience frightening and traumatic events can lead to developing PTSD and anxiety. Anxiety can also be taught or the result of limited and healthy coping skills. When teens associate with friends and family members who are fearful or anxious about the world being a dangerous place they can develop a similar world view, resulting in anxiety. Additionally, at times, when teens do not have the emotional expression skills and coping skills to handle uncomfortable emotions such as failure, rejection, or fears anxiety can develop.