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Adolescents and Their Families Structure, Function, and Parent-Youth Relationships

by Richard M. Lerner

  • ISBN: 9780815332930
  • ISBN10: 0815332939

Adolescents and Their Families Structure, Function, and Parent-Youth Relationships

by Richard M. Lerner

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publish date: 08/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780815332930
  • ISBN10: 0815332939
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Description: The articles in this volume discuss the behavioral and social risks that adolescents encounter. In addition, the papers describe both internalizing problems (e.g., depression) and externalizing problems (e.g., substance use and abuse, delinquency, and problems relating to sexual behavior) that are relatively common among adolescents. All of the papers in this volume are grounded in the theoretical belief that adolescent behavior, including risk-taking and problem behavior, as well as positive and healthy behavior, results from complex interactions occurring between the adolescent and the multiple levels of the adolescent's context. Moreover, many of the papers in the current volume emphasize the importance of examining the interactions between the adolescent and his/her context longitudinally since changes in these relations take place as adolescence progresses.

An important underlying theme throughout this volume is diversity. As many of the articles stress, there is wide variation in adolescent behaviors, including problem behaviors, in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, and religiosity. This variation is evident in problem behaviors ranging from internalizing behaviors such as depression, with adolescent girls being much more likely to experience depression than boys; to externalizing behaviors such as precocious sexual activity and pregnancy, with African-Americans adolescents being at a significantly greater risk for experiencing these problems in comparison to adolescents from other racial groups.

The articles in this volume also illustrate the point that during adolescence, problem behaviors tend to co-occur. For example, adolescent substance abusers tend to exhibitadditional problem behaviors such as early sexual activity, delinquency, and depression. Therefore, consistent with recent empirical work, these articles advocate the study of the "whole" adolescent; in contrast to the examination of isolated behaviors.

The underlying ideas presented in this volume have important implications for prevention and intervention. Taken together, they suggest that prevention and intervention programs targeting adolescent problem behaviors should be comprehensive. Such programs need to address the entire system -- the interaction of the "whole" adolescent with his/her context. In addition, these articles suggest that prevention and intervention programs need to encompass variations in behaviors across adolescents, contexts, and time.

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