The condition that can arise from a middle class upbringing in suburbia, especially in Niceville, USA or Canada with a life limited to malls, Hollywood movies, and television.

This environment leads to a very homogeneous upbringing where a person never actually experiences poverty, other cultures or religions firsthand. That is to say that in general, one brought up in this social climate has tunnel vision—their view of the world is severely skewed.

Although the suburban life away from society's problems (crime, drug addition, etc.) seems almost utopian at first, by the time that a person reaches adolescence they begin to show their vanilla upbringing. The fortunate respond to this with a genuine desire to learn about the human condition, however, most attempt to rebel against the establishment. Because they have never seen true human suffering, some turn to petty theft, and irresponsible use of drugs, especially marijuana and alcohol. Many adopt an arrogant attitude assuming that because they understand the sanitized world around them, they understand the entire universe.

Another result is that people suffering from North American Teenage Syndrome feel a need to fit into stereotypes they see on TV. As a result, originality and diversity become severely endangered—those who deviate from fitting into a cookie cutter personality are frequently ostracized.

Note that this is only a stereotype. It has been pointed out that many suburbs are now diverse places, however, frequently this diversity itself is somewhat sanitized: suburbs, generally speaking, consist of people of a very narrow income range. Frequently, recent immigrants avoid suburbs somewhat deliberately. So even ethnic diversity gives way to a certain degree: there may be different colors of skin, but different lifestyles have given way to a 'standard'.

Furthermore, because suburbs exist as tracts of mass-produced homes, high schools, vast malls and big box stores, they suffer from severe bloat and urban spread. This makes a car (or, more stereotypically, a massive, planet-killing SUV or minivan) an utter necessity. This means that before children become old enough to get a driver's license, they are totally dependent upon their parents for transportation. Because of this, and the fact that within suburbia, there is no where to travel to other than to malls, other suburban houses and schools, existence tends to be limited to spending time with like-minded friends who, more often than not, inhabit the same suburb and may share the same sphere of influences. There are no meeting places that are conductive to the exchange of ideas, no 'forum' which is really conductive to thought. This leads to a sort of mental stagnation because one's knowledge of the world is generally limited to the suburbs. Problems, therefore, seem to exist outside the 'bubble', but not within.

However, great minds have, throughout history, stated the human desire to explore, to expand. However, after the mind has atrophied from lack of new influences, the most obvious course for this 'exploration' is into the 'forbidden fruit' of sexuality and drugs. However, because the young have little life experience in dealing with new ideas and experiences, they tend to explore these in a irrational manner, not aware of the consequences of their actions.

Frequently, the most severe symptoms of North American Teenage Syndrome disappear after a youth goes to college or University; however, that may be changing.

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