It could also be that grouping kids into high schools so many decades ago (by design, immature, dependent people are much easier to control) and spending so much time around their peers has lessened the influence of mature family members and begun the decline of critical thinking skills as well as the maturation into productive adults. We have second and third generations coming out of the highschool institutions now compounded with instant and CONSTANT "communication" (I use that term loosely) with said peers. Television shows have great influence on kids as well as parental influence is mocked or negated. Parents see nothing wrong with large high schools because, after all, they went to high school too and they turned out fine. Each successive generation becomes infantilized and never maturing at later and later ages. What one generation accepts becomes the starting point for the subsequent generation and the downward spiral continues.
Think back to the era when our country was formed...Ben Franklin left his home to apprentice in Philadelphia at 13!! People married much earlier, there was no such thing as adolescence. You were a child and then a man (or woman). The young adults immediately lived with the consequences of their decisions and their decisions were more reason-based. There was none of the feelings-based, self-esteem garbage masquerading as character these days.
Now I'm not suggesting we go back to marrying at 14, but the lack of taking responsibilty for one's actions EVER (it's not MY fault, then fill in your favorite grievance) is wreaking havoc on our society.