I absolutely agree that modern western teenage life isn't necessarily the best use of some teenagers' energy.
Mine seriously would have loved, and been completely suited for, a nomadic hunters life. He would also have made an excellent warrior (and been a bloody fab Viking beserker )
We also got the Insults Which Are Guaranteed To Hurt Parents Therefore Giving Offspring The Chance To Wig Out And Refuse To Cooperate. If we refused to rise to it he would usually get on with the task he was trying to avoid.
DH and I often said that it was like being in an abusive relationship. We loved him dearly and he just used that to hurt us. Unfortunately it isn't a relationship that you can walk away from.
It's because they know deep inside that no matter how much we row, or what we say or do, that we love them, and will continue to no matter what.
I think that's why there is more of this behaviour (anecdotally) among teenagers with involved, interested, loving parents.
I suspect few neglected teenagers behave like this. There are few teenagers from aggressive abusive families who would dare to tell their parents to fuck off or take a door off the hinges. They'd be beaten up or chucked out.
Maybe that's where we are going wrong . We have made them feel unconditionally loved. But how can that not be a good thing? It's all very confusing.
I agree, absolutely, that the children from neglectful homes are much less likely to behave aggressively or defiantly. At least, anecdotally, it seems that way.
My DS has told us repeatedly that he despises us and yet, in times of trouble, he is straight on the blower to us... The first thing he did when imprisoned was ring mum He loves us really and he knows we love him back. He just can't fit in with our way of life.