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Hurt 2.0

Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers

series: Youth, Family, and Culture

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2011 Book of the Year Award, Foreword Magazine
2011 Outreach Resource of the Year

"Young people need adults to understand what they are going through and people to care about them without a personal agenda. This book was very helpful to me, and my attitude toward teens will never be the same."--Doug Fields, speaker; author, Speaking to Teenagers
Hurt provided a vivid and insightful view into the world of today's teenagers. Now leading youth ministry expert Chap Clark substantially updates and revises his groundbreaking bestseller (over 55,000 copies sold). Hurt 2.0 features a new chapter on youth at society's margins and new material on social networking and gaming. Each chapter has been thoroughly revised with new research, statistics, quotations, and documentation.
Preface to Hurt 2.0
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction to the Youth, Family, and Culture Series
Part 1: The Changing Adolescent World
1. The Changing Face of Adolescence
2. Abandonment--The Defining Issue for Contemporary Adolescents
3. The World Beneath
Part 2: The Landscape of the World Beneath
4. Peers
5. School
6. Family
7. Sports
8. Sex
9. Busyness and Stress
10. Ethics and Morality
11. Partying, Gaming, and Social Networking
12. Kids on the Margins
13. What Do Midadolescents Need?
Appendix: The Method


"Chap Clark has spent years studying the lives and hearts of kids, and as parents of three teenagers, we are personally grateful for his insight and work. In Hurt 2.0, Chap takes us deeper into their world, helping us to better understand not only our own kids but also all young people."--Ronnie Lott, former All-Pro NFL defensive back, and Karen Lott, children's advocate

"As parents of teenagers and as a family deeply invested in developing the leadership potential of young men and women, my wife and I recognize in Hurt 2.0 what we have been seeing and sensing but haven't been able to name. Chap Clark's research has helped us to understand what kids today are experiencing and how we can create a better present and a brighter future for our youth."--Eric McAfee, Silicon Valley entrepreneur; venture capitalist; chairman, McAfee Capital

Praise for the first edition:

"As an advocate for kids for over twenty years, I have watched things change since I was in school. Thankfully, this book made me face what I intuitively knew was real but pretended wasn't: The youth of our culture have been deeply wounded by our collective neglect and adult-driven self-focus. Young people need adults to understand what they are going through and people to care about them without a personal agenda. This book was very helpful to me, and my attitude toward teens will never be the same."--Doug Fields, speaker; author, Speaking to Teenagers

"This book does a great job of framing the issues affecting adolescents. It provided me with some powerful insights. No wonder adolescents identify with the movies I have been making-the characters are on the same journey of trying to find hope and authenticity. This book is a great look inside the adolescent world, the world beneath the one exposed to adults."--Ralph Winter, movie producer, X-Men Trilogy, Fantastic Four, Star Trek series, and Cool It

"For years my burden has been to enter the inside world of people with the passion of Christ. Clark has done it with adolescents. I predict Hurt will become the book to read for all who care about the spiritual development of teens."--Larry Crabb, New Way Ministries; author of Soul Talk

"Clark gives evidence in this book as to why he is one of the brightest figures in the field of youth ministry. Hurt provides more insight into what young people feel and how to deal with their feelings than almost any other book that will come your way. This is an award-winning volume." --Tony Campolo, Eastern University

"What makes Hurt so valuable is that it marries the very best of careful scholarship with a deep compassion for kids. Clark is not just an academic who offers thoughtful ethnographic research. He's a frontline youth worker who still spends time with these students even after all the data has been collected. This important book will be very helpful to youth workers, parents, counselors, and educators alike."--Duffy Robbins, associate professor of youth ministry, Eastern University

"Based on solid research and years of insightful observation, Clark's Hurt serves to open the eyes of parents, youth workers, pastors, educators, and youth-serving professionals to realities from which the church has too often chosen to look away. Hurt's 'world beneath' is a world we must visit if we hope to be significant people through which the gospel speaks. If we hope to point the hopeless to true hope, these realities must be faced, understood, and addressed. Hurt offers a deep and penetrating look into the contemporary adolescent experience that will serve us well as we work to have a prophetic, preventive, and redemptive influence on the world of today's youth culture."--Walt Mueller, president, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"Clark has been stepping inside the world of teenagers for many years. This book is a unique invitation for us to join him in their world. When we finish this journey, we will care more about kids and understand who they are and the challenges they face."--Denny Rydberg, president, Young Life

The Author

  1. Chap Clark

    Chap Clark

    Chap Clark (PhD, University of Denver), one of today's leading voices in youth and young adult ministry, is senior pastor at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. He is also president of ParenTeen, works closely with Young...

    Continue reading about Chap Clark


2011 Outreach Resource of the Year
2011 Book of the Year Award,
Foreword Magazine

"The expanded and updated version of Chap Clark's Hurt, this book is a must-read for parents and youth ministry workers who want to serve students with the utmost effectiveness. Clark does an excellent job blending the research on the actions and behaviors of teenagers, what impacts their lives, what many of them are thinking, and whom they are most likely to listen to. Any concerned parent, senior pastor or youth ministry leader who wants to understand 'the world beneath,' which our teenagers live in, should have a copy of this book and review it with your spouse or ministry teams."--Outreach

"This book's findings are valuable, but perhaps the most revealing, at least to a non-academic reader, are excerpts from some of the more than 1,000 notes Clark received from teachers and students while substitute-teaching. . . . This book is best for adults who interact with teenagers on a professional, daily basis--especially youth workers, counselors, and teachers."--Christy Pitney, CBA Retailers + Resources

"This book would be good for someone who wants to work with middle-school or high-school kids and understand their issues, or someone who might be able to talk with parents of hurt kids. It would be great for self-focused, busy, neglectful parents who push their children into a world they are not prepared to handle, and parents of angry and destructive kids."--Lisa Carlier, The Lamplighter

"A fantastic academic study on understanding adolescents and their world. . . . Clark gives detailed analysis of the important issues of peers, school, family, sport, sex, busyness and stress, ethics and morality, partying, gaming and social networking and on kids at the margins. The advice given on these areas are hugely helpful and I fully advise parents who do not understand, or fear they will not understand their adolescents, to read Hurt 2.0. . . . There are some simple things we as adults can do to be the kind of adults adolescents need in their lives. Hurt 2.0 provides background and a way forward for those needing to know how to nurture an increasingly distant adolescent culture."--Callum Iles, Insights

Praise for the first edition:

"Attention all parents, teachers, youth workers, pastors, and even grandparents! This book is for you. You cannot afford to miss the thesis of this book. . . . Buy a copy, read it carefully, and listen to the plea of the rising generation as you read through it. . . . [Clark's] book is full of credible research on how the younger generations have been and are being abandoned by the adult generations. . . . Clark reminds us that the church has a calling to care for the young."--Al Bennett, Equip for Ministry

"This book takes a serious look at teenagers' pain and offers suggestions for a helpful approach. . . . Clark uses sidebars and pullouts that quote teens on the different issues and concerns they have, as well as poetry composed by students. . . . His strong belief in the need for attention to teens is apparent throughout, and the spiritual aspect is confined primarily to an appendix, making this book appropriate for parents of any belief structure. Even while raising alarms about the crises facing teens in their daily lives, Clark provides hope that this generation of future adults can be brought through the difficulties of adolescence safely--if the adults in their lives make the effort to understand them and what's important to them."--Amy C. Rea, ForeWord

"A daring yet hopeful glance into the underworld of teen promiscuity, self-mutilation, and suicide. . . . A groundbreaking resource for parents, youth ministers, and counselors."--ForeWord

"From one of the strongest voices in youth ministry today comes a book that just might cause you to do what the title says. This book hurts. It's a painfully truthful look in the mirror at the root causes of the challenges facing contemporary teenagers. Chap Clark has given us a true textbook for anyone called to minister to youth. The time and study needed to get through this book is rewarded by an invaluable wealth of understanding, challenge, motivation, questions, and hopefully an increased desire to reach out to the youth we care so much about."--Rick McNeely, YouthWorker Journal

"Teens are frequently hurt psychologically, and they believe that no one really understands them, especially their parents. If you want an understanding of youth culture, of the pressures under which young people live, of the loneliness affecting many teens, and of the angst that your children carry with them, then read this book."--Henry Holstege, Christian Home & School

"Although written with youth ministry in mind, Hurt has the potential to be useful for anyone involved with students--teachers, social workers, coaches, and pastors. . . . Anyone who works in ministry should read this book. A senior pastor or a worship pastor would gain insight from understanding the life of adolescents. Youth ministry is often seen as a separate entity from the life of the church. In a class I took with Clark, he emphasized the necessity of bringing adolescents into the life of the church body. I believe the understanding gained from the content and message of this book has the potential to help begin the process of integrating students into the church family."--Kristin Michealsen, Covenant Quarterly

"Like an embedded journalist, the author has been invited into the world of today's teens to an extent few adults can match. His lucid writing style combines warmth and compassion with sociology-textbook straightforwardness, backing his observations with extensive research--his own and others'. . . . One of the decade's most important books and first in Baker's Youth, Family, and Culture series, Hurt is must-reading for every parent, educator, and youth worker in America."--Gary Hassig, CBA Retailers + Resources

"Drawing together research from many others along with his fresh exploration into the world beneath, Clark paints a compelling picture of adolescent life. . . . This book is a must-read for anyone who has any contact with adolescents, for as Clark points out, overriding the negative forces of abandonment means each teen needs multiple positive voices in their world. Written accessibly, this book could be given as a resource to volunteers in a youth group, but the depth of research displayed makes it invaluable in an academic setting as well."--Anna E. Aven, Journal of Youth Ministry

"Cold, hard statistical numbers can tell us much about the teenage population's behavior, but they usually do not tell us why youth act the way they do and why they think what they think. . . . Chap Clark has done parents and those who work with teenagers a great service by going beyond the numbers to look at the current youth culture and reveal what adolescents actually are saying and feeling about their own behavior. . . . This is one of the best books written about youth in the last decade. . . Highly recommended for youth ministers, lay youth workers, educators and parents."--Greg Bowman, Baptist Standard

"Adults tempted to think they know what teenagers are experiencing because they once were teenagers should read Hurt."--Christian Century

"The strength of the book lies in the author's observations about the state of today's teenagers. If the Church is to reach them with the hope of the gospel message, youth leaders must know and understand the world adolescents live in. . . . Hurt provides vital insight into teen culture for anyone working or living with youth, including professional and volunteer leaders and parents."--Episcopal Teacher

"Clark's comments are timely and apt. . . . Hurt remains valuable for anyone who cares for youth--ministers, teachers, and parents. Clark's observations of the current ethical framework and moral behaviour of teenagers is challenging material, and will force his readers to fresh reminders of the difficulties in growing up in a world that has abandoned God."--Jodie McNeill, The Briefing

"Chap Clark not only studies youth, he also works with them on the grassroots level. Hurt is a well-researched and compassionate look at today's adolescent culture."--Prism ePistle

"Chap Clark's classic book [is] highly recommended by youth workers and educators who write about teenage stress. It is foundational reading that provides valuable insight into the hurting hearts of young people."--Peggy Kendall, YouthWorker Journal

"Clark skillfully examines the concept of abandonment and describes it as the defining issue for contemporary adolescents. . . . The author expresses well the solitary and often lonely mind of the young person within the context and framework of the issues they come up against and which [they] try to make sense of. . . . If you would like an invitation to 'think with' adolescents, with no agenda or pre-emptive outcomes, then this book is worth reading. . . . [It provides] fine knowledge and insight into the adolescent world. For anyone working in the area of teenage growth and development, in caring for, supporting, and guiding young lives, reading Hurt will make you better at what you do."--David Keating, The Furrow