The current study examined the potential of relational closeness in the natural mentoring relationships (NMRs) of Black students to counter and protect against the noxious effects of school-based discrimination on academic engagement. The study sample included 663 Black students between the ages of 12 and 19 (M = 14.96 years, SD = 1.81 years), all reporting a natural mentor. Approximately half of participants were female (53%). Participants were recruited from three different school districts in a Midwestern metropolitan area. Findings indicated that perceived school-based discrimination was negatively associated with academic engagement. Relational closeness in NMRs countered, but did not protect against, the negative effects of perceived school-based discrimination on students’ academic engagement. Additional analyses indicated that one mechanism through which relational closeness in NMRs may promote greater academic engagement among Black students is via increased racial pride. Results highlight the potential of NMRs to counter messages of inferiority communicated through discriminatory experiences in the school. Fostering relational closeness between Black students and supportive non-parental adults in their lives may be an effective strategy to boost academic achievement among Black youth experiencing discrimination in the school environment. In addition to fostering stronger bonds with natural mentors, strategic efforts to reduce school-based discrimination are needed to truly bolster the academic success of Black youth.
Civic participation in the United States is highly unequal, resulting in a "civic engagement gap" between socioeconomic, racial, and gender groups. Variation in civic participation and the civic engagement gap remain contested, primarily as a result of inconsistent definitions and measurement issues in previous work. Using consistent measures from the Monitoring the Future Study from 1976 to 2009, I analyze whether sociodemographic gaps in youth civic participation changed during a period of growing income inequality. I find that since the 1970s, electoral participation decreased, volunteering increased, and social movement activity remained constant. Participation varied by sociodemographic group, with highly educated Whites most active in all activities. Females volunteered more than males, but participated at the same rate in all other activities. The gap between male and female volunteering increased over the time period, as did the socioeconomic gap in volunteering. Racial gaps in participation, however, remained relatively stable from 1976 to 2009.
Over the last decade, cyberbullying has emerged as a public health concern among young people. Cyberbullying refers to intentional harmful behaviors and communication carried out repeatedly using electronic media. Considerable research has demonstrated the detrimental and long-lasting effects of cyberbullying involvement. This article draws on a social–ecological perspective to identify protective health assets from across the multiple environmental domains of the adolescent that may mitigate against experiencing cyberbullying. Data were collected from 5,335 students aged 11, 13, and 15 years who participated in the 2014 World Health Organization Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study for England. Protective health assets were identified at the family (family communication), school (school sense of belonging and teacher support), and neighborhood (neighborhood sense of belonging) levels. In particular, the findings draw attention to the protective role fathers can play in supporting young people.
Perceptions of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use are associated with adolescent substance use behavior, yet research on the role of contextual factors and positive assets in this relationship is scant. This study examined the relationship between school environment and peer influence and past 30-day alcohol and marijuana use via positive future orientation and AOD perceptions in a high school sample (n = 392; 49% male; 73% White). A positive peer influence and a positive school environment were associated with lower alcohol and marijuana use via future orientation, reasoned action approach (RAA) constructs (i.e., injunctive norms, AOD expectancies, and perceived control over AOD use), and intentions to avoid AOD use. The findings provide support for the role of a positive future orientation in the prevention of AOD use among youth and point to differential paths of influence for contextual factors.
Sexual and gender diversity is an overlooked subject in resilience research. This study seeks to advance the conceptualization of resilience among lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. Informed by social ecological theory of resilience, grounded theory analysis of interviews with service providers (n = 16) and LGBTQ youth (n = 19) yielded the following categories: (a) facing adversities across contexts, and (b) "doing well" while still in pain. LGBTQ youth face both general and LGBTQ-specific adversities. LGBTQ youth, even in a so-called "post-gay" era, remain challenged to navigate marginalization to maintain their well-being. Participants endorsed a context-dependent understanding of "doing well," rather than using normative criteria of health (e.g., absence of psychopathologies). Although resilience is known as "ordinary magic," this article alternatively proposes that resilience is LGBTQ youths’ extraordinary acts to "show up" every day to battle through adversities.
Existing research on theories of intelligence shows that students with growth mindsets tend to outperform those with fixed mindsets in mathematics. We used nationally representative data to address two related questions in the general population: (a) Are there subgroup differences in the endorsement of a fixed mindset? (b) Does the negative association of a fixed mindset and math achievement vary across subgroups? We found that White students and students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to view intelligence as a fixed trait than non-Whites and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Furthermore, for low-achieving students, we found that a fixed mindset at 10th grade predicted lower gains in academic achievement by 12th grade than it did for their high-achieving counterparts. Our results reflect that contextual differences play a critical role in shaping fixed mindsets and its consequences.
Black parents have long faced the task of explaining the meaning of race to their children and preparing them for racist experiences. This qualitative study examines racial socialization practices in the context of a specific racialized event: the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Data were gathered from 18 Black parents and adolescents living in the St. Louis region in the weeks immediately following the event. Four types of practices were identified: Parents taught their children about the racial context from which the events emerged; they taught their sons strategies to avoid danger and that their lives are valued; they emphasized dissimilarity between their children and those engaging in violent protest; and they encouraged their children to overcome discrimination through individual achievement.
The current study examined prospective associations between maternal solicitation and acceptance, adolescent self-disclosure, and adolescent externalizing behaviors. Participants included 357 urban adolescents (46% male; 92% African American) and their maternal caregivers. Participants provided data annually (three waves across 2-year time frame). Results of a three-wave longitudinal path model demonstrated that adolescent self-disclosure was related to higher rates of maternal solicitation and lower frequencies of externalizing behaviors. Maternal solicitation was associated with higher rates of maternal acceptance. Maternal acceptance was positively associated with adolescent self-disclosure and indirectly associated with lower frequencies of adolescent externalizing behaviors via higher levels of adolescent self-disclosure. Associations did not differ by sex or age. Understanding factors that contribute to adolescent self-disclosure and maternal acceptance are important, as they appear to have protective influences on externalizing behaviors.
Few studies have examined sexual partnerships and HIV risk in diverse samples of African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino adolescent and young adult men who have sex with men (YMSM), a group that have a high burden of HIV in the United States. A community–venue recruitment approach was used, which identified significant differences in HIV risk by sexual partner type among 1,215 YMSM. Those with casual partners had a higher number of sexual partners, had more sexually transmitted infections (STIs), were more likely to engage in transactional sex, and to use alcohol, marijuana, or other substances compared with those with main partners only. Among those with female sexual partners, many used condoms "every time" when engaging in vaginal sex with casual partners, but a sizable proportion "never/rarely" used condoms with their main partners. Our findings demonstrate a need for tailored HIV prevention education and counseling with necessary skills regarding consistent and correct condom use with all sexual partnerships.
A growing body of research is exploring the affects school disorder has on educational progress. It is also known that educational success and failure are linked to gender, racial, and ethnic disparities. Other issues, however, remain less explored. For example, how do perceptions of individual adolescents about disorder affect behavior? Or whether or how school-level physical and social disorder are related to gender, racial, and ethnic disparities. Do any of these factors affect the likelihood of dropping out? This study draws from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, with a focus on a subsample consisting of Black/African American, Latina/o American, Asian American, Native American, multiracial American, and White American public school students in 580 public schools. We analyze the role school disorder has on dropping out, among racial and ethnic minority adolescents. The results suggest that, in general, school disorder has greater influence among racial and ethnic minority youth.
This study aimed to (a) identify mentoring quality profiles based on characteristics of informal mentoring relationships, (b) examine how mentor and youth demographic characteristics were related to the profiles, and (c) investigate whether the profiles were related to youth’s academic outcomes. Participants were 411 ninth-grade urban, low-income students. Mentors were comprised of older siblings, extended family members, and non-familial adults. Using cluster analysis, we identified two mentoring quality relationship profiles: (a) less close and growth oriented and (b) closer and more growth oriented. Boys were more likely to have less close and growth-oriented relationship profiles or to be in the non-mentored group compared with girls. Univariate tests showed differences among relationship profile groups and non-mentored groups on intrinsic motivation, educational aspirations and expectations, perceived economic benefits, and limitations of education and grade point average (GPA). The study reveals the importance of taking a within-group, person-centered approach when examining mentoring relationships.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether gender traits have any influence on the awareness of cultural codes, the motivation of playing online games, and the degrees of commitment for primary school upper graders. Of 390 students surveyed in Taiwan, a total of 364 questionnaires were returned with 356 being considered valid. The main study findings were summarized as follows: (a) Masculine trait has positive and significant effect on cultural codes, which supports and confirms the mediator role of cultural codes. (b) Feminine trait has positive and significant effect on online games play motivation, which also supports and confirms the mediator role of motivation.
Gang members are exposed to unique sexual risks, yet little work has explored the influence of gang social norms. This study examines the functions and meanings of sex within gangs, with a specific focus on the ways in which sex is used to reinforce gang membership and norms, gender roles, and group cohesion. We conducted 58 semi-structured interviews with adolescent members of six gangs. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis and constant comparative method in MAXQDA. Sexual risk behaviors within gangs are upheld and reinforced through unspoken norms and expectations. These high-risk sexual practices increase group cohesion and reinforce gender norms and power differences. Despite the prevalence of such practices, many gang members felt regret and remorse over their participation but noted it was just part of "the life." Our findings highlight the need for interventions to address the norms of the gang that reinforce sexual risk behavior.
The present study evaluates adolescent gang involvement using cross-sectional survey data from 1,475 adolescents living in a disadvantaged Comuna in Medellin, Colombia. Specifically, we examine the prevalence of former and current gang membership, affiliation with gang members, and lives untouched by any gang association. Once these groups are established, we identify variation in membership on the basis of demographic and theoretical variables, and determine whether such variation can be described by using the selection, facilitation, and enhancement models developed by Thornberry et al. While our results, consistent with many prior findings using North American samples, support the selection model for most theoretical variables and enhancement for behavioral outcomes, our strongest contribution is our study’s ability to demonstrate the temporal impact of gang involvement.
While previous research has shown alcohol use to increase developmentally throughout adolescence, the age of alcohol initiation has rarely been incorporated into developmental trajectories. Simultaneous estimation of the effects of early alcohol initiation was made in relation to the recency and frequency of alcohol use utilizing a sample of 1,209 low-income, minority adolescents initiating alcohol between 12 and 18. Significant effects of both age of alcohol initiation and gender were found. Initial alcohol use was higher the later the adolescent initiated alcohol use. Following initiation, trajectories of the recency and frequency of alcohol use for female adolescents increased more rapidly the earlier they initiate alcohol use, while trajectories for male adolescents increased independent of their year of initiation. Modeling age of initiation using piecewise growth models provided more informative results regarding early alcohol initiation effects as compared to traditional longitudinal model.
This article examines neighborhood-level factors to help explain why adolescent birth rate trajectories differ in certain communities in California, with rates in some areas remaining elevated or increasing while rates in other areas with similar demographic characteristics declined. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 94 community stakeholders and 22 focus groups with 186 adolescents from five "promising" communities (with declining adolescent birth rates) and five "struggling" communities (persistently elevated or increasing rates). Promising communities had more employment prospects, better neighbor interactions, and greater educational opportunities for youth. Parent–child communication around sex and youth knowledge of clinics were also more common. In contrast, struggling communities tended to have higher perceived levels of crime and poverty and more negative attitudes toward youth. These findings illustrate the complexity of factors that influence adolescents’ lives and decision-making. Synergistic community-based approaches to adolescent health and development are critical to promote positive health outcomes.
The purpose of this study was to examine adolescent mothers’ perceptions of how individuals within the schools viewed them and how those views shaped their educational experiences. The sample consisted of 83 primarily Hispanic adolescent mothers who participated in one of 19 semi-structured focus group interviews during the 2014-2015 school year. Although we did not specifically explore stigma, the adolescent mothers described feeling stigmatized by school personnel and their non-parenting classmates. They also discussed how school policies were not conducive to parenting. Based on the results, recommendations are provided that will help school personnel effectively meet the needs of this population by creating an atmosphere in which the students feel safe, supported, and are able to learn.
Disparities in psychosocial adjustment have been identified for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth, yet research that explores multiple sources of social support among subgroups of LGB youth is sparse. Social support theory is used as a framework to analyze the ways that different sources of support might promote better psychosocial adjustment for LGB youth. Data from a diverse sample among LGB youth (N = 835) were used to understand how social support from a close friend, teachers, classmates, and parents might be differently associated with depression and self-esteem. We found that parent support and its importance to the participant were consistently related to higher self-esteem and lower depression for all youth, except for lesbians for whom no forms of social support were associated with self-esteem. Teacher and classmate support influenced some subgroups more than others. These results provide parents, clinicians, and schools a roadmap to assist youth navigate supports.
This study examines the role of a parent–child connection on social networking sites on negative online experiences of young adolescents. Using data from a secondary analysis of teenagers (aged 12 to 17 years old) who participated in the 2011 Teens and Digital Citizenship Survey and controlling for their participation in risky online activities and socio-demographic factors, the study establishes that children reporting having a parent as a social networking friend are less likely to be victims of cyberbullying. Furthermore, the parent–child connection on social networking sites apparently has a specific protective effect that might result from the children’s disclosure of information to their parents through the mechanism of friending. The implications of the findings are discussed.
In light of evidence that the Internet, participatory media, and online communities are increasingly central to civic and political life, this article investigates online political discourse as a context of youth civic development. Drawing on a national survey of 2,519 youth, ages 15 to 24, we find that exposure to conflict in online discourse is common. Nearly half of youth report witnessing conflict online, although fewer participate directly in these exchanges. We find that youth who are most involved in online political discussions or who get news through online participatory media are more likely to encounter such conflict. In addition, experiences with conflict vary by type of online community: Greater involvement in interest-driven online communities is associated with greater involvement in online conflict, while involvement in friendship-driven communities is not. Finally, we examine youths’ normative reactions to online conflict and discuss implications for youth civic engagement and development.
The college and career readiness movement figures prominently in the nation’s educational reform and policies, including strategies to increase graduation rates among disadvantaged students in urban schools. As part of a multi-pronged approach to help youth transition to post-secondary education and the workforce, the present study evaluated a new career intervention, Making My Future Work, designed to serve as a comprehensive, flexible career curriculum. Based on a quasi-experimental design among a sample of urban youth (N = 429), multilevel modeling revealed promising evidence for its impact across a range of outcomes, including grade point average, school engagement, career preparation, self-determination, and self-awareness. The implications of the findings, limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.
Traditional school bullying and cyberbullying are growing concerns worldwide. Research has been devoted to understanding the etiology of bullying behaviors. Using a large sample of secondary school adolescents in Hong Kong (N = 1,893), this study explores gender differences in mean levels of traditional school bullying (i.e., physical and verbal forms of bullying, and extortion and exclusion) and cyberbullying (i.e., overt and relational aggression) behaviors, and psychosocial characteristics (i.e., self-efficacy, empathy, prosocial behavior, family bonding, perception of a harmonious school, sense of belonging in school, and positive school experiences and involvement). The differential role of psychosocial characteristics in types of bullying perpetration is also examined. Findings indicate that the perpetration of traditional school bullying and cyberbullying behaviors are positively correlated, and male adolescents reported higher levels of bullying perpetration than female adolescents. Multivariate findings reveal that, to some extent, male and female adolescents shared a similar set of psychosocial risk factors of bullying perpetration, especially in the perpetration of traditional school bullying. The findings of this study may have important implications for practice in regard to minimizing, if not entirely preventing, through the joint efforts of the family, school, and social service systems, the propensity of adolescents to engage in the perpetration of bullying behaviors.
Latino youth are the fastest growing group of ethnic minority adolescents in the United States, but their educational needs remain underserved. Although research exploring academic engagement has expanded in recent years, the majority of research examining academic engagement among Latino youth has been cross-sectional. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the present investigation used a within-person and between-person analysis to examine the long-term influence of social support from teachers, family, and peers on academic engagement among a nationally representative sample of Latino adolescents. Findings indicated that between-person teacher support and family support were associated with higher academic engagement for all youth. In contrast, within-person teacher support was associated with higher academic engagement, but only for Mexican American youth. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
In this study, we examined associations between mentoring relationship quality, rejection sensitivity, and youth outcomes. Participants (N = 446) were part of a national, random assignment evaluation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America school-based mentoring programs. Youth in more trusting mentoring relationships demonstrated reductions in teacher-reported behavioral evidence of rejection sensitivity. These reductions, in turn, were positively associated with youth’s assertiveness with peers and prosocial behavior. Percentile bootstrap confidence intervals testing indirect effects demonstrated that rejection sensitivity mediated the association between mentoring relationship trust and teacher-reported assertiveness and prosocial behavior. Implications of the findings for theory and practice are discussed.
Teenage mothers often report immense personal benefits of children, claiming that motherhood reordered their priorities, provided a sense of purpose, and prevented a worse fate, yet the potentially beneficial impacts of early motherhood receive little empirical attention. This study employs propensity score analysis using nearest neighbor matching to assess the causal effect of teenage motherhood on personal transformation (i.e., self-worth, life satisfaction, and orientation toward risk, the future, and relationships) using first- and third-wave National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health data from 7,563 female respondents. The study finds that teenage mothers are more risk averse than similarly situated non-mothers. Contrary to qualitative narratives, though, adolescent mothers express lower global life satisfaction than their counterparts and do not differ from them in self-worth, future orientation, or relationship orientation. Excepting risk aversion, these results imply that accounts of transformation may be less about realized transformation than projecting competent identities that counter stigma.
We examined how family functioning and emotion regulation strategies relate to both a history of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and recovery from NSSI. Participants were 272 adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years (M = 14.50 years, SD = 1.46 years), of whom 17.6% reported a history of NSSI. As expected, poor family functioning was associated with engagement in NSSI. Among the emotion regulation variables, higher use of self-blame and lower use of refocus on planning was associated with NSSI. Self-blame and refocus on planning also mediated the relationship between family functioning and NSSI. Similarly, better family functioning and adaptive emotion regulation were related to recovery, while maladaptive emotion regulation was negatively related to recovery. Adaptive emotion regulation moderated the relationship between family functioning and NSSI recovery. We discuss how family-based interventions combined with emotion regulation education may help deter NSSI engagement.
In the present study, school belongingness was explored in the context of a mathematics classroom over the course of one academic year. In-depth interviews with eight African American middle school students and their three White teachers were conducted at two time periods. This phenomenological qualitative investigation of African American middle school girls revealed two primary themes of personal connection with their teachers and authentic pedagogy. As practitioners and researchers continue to examine the factors related to African American student achievement, empirical research should highlight the importance of teacher warmth and instructional relevance in the experiences of students of color in middle grades and secondary mathematics classes.
In after-school programs, skill-building is a holistic process by which adolescents—guided by adults—achieve mastery. Developmental theories such as Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model position youth as active learners; however, little is known about the specific actions youth use to enhance their learning during skill-building opportunities. Qualitative analysis of 49 semi-structured observations of enrichment activities at a high-quality after-school program showed that adolescents used four types of actions while completing a project: inquiry, contribution, self-regulation, and peer education. These behaviors indicated youths’ level of cognitive engagement. Instructors’ practices related to questioning, monitoring, group management, and sharing control demonstrate the range of instructional practices that can be used in response to teens’ use of the four types of learning actions. This study presents a theoretical model of the skill-building process that illustrates how teens’ behaviors interact with staff practices and the demands of project-based learning.
Homeless youth frequently meet diagnosis criteria for depressive and/or substance use disorder(s). Although prior research has established that both social connectedness and self-efficacy buffer vulnerable youth’s adverse health outcomes, few studies have compared the potential of these protective factors on homeless youth’s mental well-being. The current study analyzes comparative effects of social connectedness and self-efficacy on meeting criteria for major depressive disorder, substance use disorder, and the co-occurrence of both disorders among a sample of 601 service-seeking homeless youth in Austin, Denver, and Los Angeles. Hierarchical logistic regressions indicate that while both social connectedness and self-efficacy constructs are valuable protective factors, social connectedness may offer greater utility, particularly in buffering against more complex mental health outcomes, such as the co-occurrence of depressive and substance use disorders. Accordingly, resource-strapped homeless youth service providers and researchers may benefit from tailoring mental health intervention strategies to further emphasize social connectedness in future efforts.
Despite adolescence being a period marked by significant social changes, research on social status focuses largely on adults. This study examined whether school and societal subjective social status (SSS) are differentially associated with adolescent health above and beyond objective socioeconomic status (SES), and explored pathways linking SSS to health. Latino (n = 169) and Asian American (n = 77) adolescents (M age = 17.23, SD = 0.74; 59% female) completed self-reports of SSS, sleep, stress, and somatic symptoms. Parents reported income and education. Blood pressure (BP) measurements were obtained. Results indicate that independent of objective SES, lower school SSS was associated with higher diastolic BP whereas lower societal SSS was associated with more somatic symptoms. Sleep disruptions and perceived stress mediated the association between societal SSS and somatic symptoms. Results suggest that SSS may be more important to adolescent health than objective SES. Furthermore, school and societal SSS may differentially affect indicators of health through different pathways.
Although most studies have established the importance of individual-level influences on adolescent outcomes, studies are often limited in that they do not address the effects of broader community-level factors. To address this limitation, we examined the association between community-level poverty and adolescents’ academic achievement, and the role of race in this association. Results from multilevel modeling suggested that (a) regardless of community type (i.e., low vs. high poverty), Black adolescents reported lower academic achievement than White adolescents, (b) community poverty was negatively associated with adolescents’ academic achievement among both White and Black adolescents, and (c) the racial disparity in academic achievement was greater in communities with low poverty. Findings indicated the complex effect of community context and race on adolescents’ academic outcome. Implications of such findings were discussed.
This study examined a multidimensional model of school engagement (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004) among low-income, urban Latino adolescents. Ecological theory suggests that students’ school, family, and peer contexts influence their behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement. Using qualitative methods of inquiry, this study examined how these various microsystemic factors influenced the school engagement of 32 Latino adolescents. Participants between 18 and 20 years of age participated in interviews focused on their retrospective experiences in high school. Participants identified school, family, and peer themes that facilitated or hindered various components of school engagement. Youth discussed how school and peer factors affected all three dimensions of school engagement, while family affected behavioral and cognitive engagement. Understanding processes involved in high school completion will aid in designing effective policies and programs to reduce dropout rates among Latino youth.
The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with career preparation of high school students in four countries: China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. The human bioecological theory was used as a framework to examine personal, process, and context factors associated with career preparation of the adolescents. Data were from a cross-national sample of more than 5,000 students in Grades 10 to 12. Results indicate that career planning and planning to attend a university after high school are distinct aspects of career preparation. Whereas process variables including interactions with parents about career planning and thinking about the future are related to the two aspects of career preparation across the four countries, other person and context predictors show country differences.
In moving toward adulthood, young people make formative choices about their social and economic engagement while developmentally seeking autonomy from parents. Who else then contributes to guiding young people during this formative life-stage? This article explores one contributing relationship: relationships with trusted adults. Past research has shown that these adults provide motivational, emotional, and instrumental support to young people, but less is known about how and why their support is appropriate particularly during young adulthood. Using qualitative data from an Australian Research Council–funded study, the article explores how and why trusted adults are important and influential, detailing how they talk, what they offer, and how their role differs according to young people’s level of engagement or disengagement from education/employment. The article explores how the trusted adult relationship is developmentally appropriate for young people and outlines implications for policy and future research.
This study shows that the beneficial impact of adolescents’ involvement in civil society on their civic identity cannot be taken for granted. Employing the case of the Czech Republic, it is shown that this effect has vanished since early postcommunism to the present day. Survey data from two different generations of Czech middle adolescents were analyzed: the postcommunist generation (collected in 1995; n = 1,127) and the current generation (collected in 2010; n = 976). While participants’ associational involvement and volunteering predicted their stronger civic identity (i.e., psychological connection and sense of responsibility to fellow citizens) in 1995, no such effect was observed in 2010. Simultaneously, both associational involvement and volunteering were determined by the economic situation of adolescents’ family in 2010, but not in 1995. The most likely reason for the vanishing impact of civic involvement is the advancing professionalization of civil society.
Although spending time in criminogenic settings is increasingly recognized as an explanation for adolescent delinquency, little is known about its determinants. The current study aims to examine the extent to which (change in) self-control and (change in) delinquent attitudes relate to (change in) time spent in criminogenic settings, and the extent to which they mediate the effects of (change in) parenting. Time spent in criminogenic settings was measured comprehensively, by including social and physical characteristics of micro settings (200 x 200 meters). Multilevel structural equation models on two waves of panel data on 603 adolescents (aged 12-19) showed that self-control and delinquent attitudes contributed to between-person differences in time spent in criminogenic settings. Within-person increases in time spent in such settings were predicted by increased delinquent attitudes. For indirect effects, self-control partially mediated between-person effects of parenting, whereas delinquent attitudes partially mediated both between- and within-person effects.
Witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) and child maltreatment may place children on a lifelong trajectory toward violence. The primary aim of this research was to examine the associations between exposure to violence at home and two forms of violence in close relationships in Spanish adolescents: child-to-parent violence (CPV) and dating violence. A sample of 845 adolescents (13-18 years) completed measures of direct victimization and witnessing of IPV, as well as adolescent dating violence and CPV at Time 1, and measures of adolescent dating violence and CPV 6 months later. Findings indicate that direct victimization is more relevant for later CPV than is witnessing IPV against the mother. Namely, direct victimization by the mother and father predicted an increase in child-to-mother and child-to-father violence over time. Witnessing IPV and direct victimization by the father predicted an increase in dating violence victimization in girls at Time 2.
This study examined ethnicity and ethnic identity (EI) as moderators in the relationship between self-efficacy (SE) and fighting and bullying. We sampled 315 Asian American and Latino early adolescents residing in an urban community. Results demonstrated that Latinos and male participants were more likely to engage in fighting and bullying than Asian Americans and females. Ethnicity and EI moderated the relationship for SE and fighting but not for SE and bullying. Findings suggest that EI and SE may serve as psychological resources that help reduce violence for Asian American and Latino early adolescents in more nuanced ways than previous research has shown. These findings address some of the conflicting findings regarding the role of EI in violence and bullying and suggest these behaviors may depend on the relationship between ethnicity and EI.
This article expands research on normative school transitions (NSTs) from elementary to middle school or middle to high school by examining the extent to which they disrupt structures of friendship networks. Social network analysis is used to quantify aspects of connectedness likely relevant to student experiences of social support. Data were drawn from 25 communities followed from sixth to ninth grades. Variability in timing of NSTs permitted multi-level longitudinal models to disentangle developmental effects from transition effects. Results indicated that friendship networks were most interconnected in smaller schools and among older students. Beyond these effects, transitions from a single feeder school to a single higher level school were not associated with changes in friendship patterns. Transitions from multiple feeder schools to a single higher level school were associated with diminished friendship stability, more loosely connected friendship networks, increased social distance between students, and friendship segregation between students who formerly attended different schools.
The present study investigated how changes in specific dimensions of the parent–adolescent relationship predict adolescent engagement in sexual intercourse and oral sex. Longitudinal data from 1,364 participants in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were gathered at six time points spanning from first grade to age 15. Latent growth curve modeling was used to investigate whether changes in mother–adolescent and father–adolescent closeness or conflict predicted adolescents’ sexual behavior at age 15. Results indicate that more rapid increase in mother–adolescent conflict predicted engagement in sexual intercourse but not oral sex by age 15, whereas change in mother–adolescent closeness did not predict sexual behaviors. A more rapid decline in father–adolescent closeness and a more rapid increase in father–adolescent conflict predicted more engagement in sexual behaviors by age 15.
This article is based on findings from a qualitative study with 27 adolescents in northern British Columbia, Canada. Our aim was to explore youths’ perspectives on the sources of emotional distress in their lives and how these are connected to peer-based aggression and victimization within their community. Our analysis of narrative findings suggests that youths’ narratives about bullying reflect intersecting and socially embedded configurations of "race," neocolonialism, and place. We argue that mainstream approaches to addressing bullying as a relationship-based problem must be re-oriented to account for the role of the social or structural contexts of youths’ lives. By applying an intersectional lens, we make the case for a widening of the focus of interventions away from individual victims and perpetrators, toward a contextual approach that addresses how adolescents experience bullying as a site of health and social inequities in their community.
Adolescent boredom is associated with maladaptation and negative developmental outcomes, yet little is known about the prevalence and correlates of high boredom. Drawing from a broad psychosocial framework, the present study examined rates of high boredom and sociodemographic and contextual correlates among nationally representative samples of 8th and 10th graders (N = 21,173; 51.8% female) from the Monitoring the Future survey. Results indicate that approximately 20% of adolescents reported high levels of boredom. Those who were more likely to report high boredom were eighth graders; females; youth who identified as Black, Biracial, or Native American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; rural youth; and youth of lower socioeconomic status. Results of multivariable logistic regression analyses show significant associations between high boredom and many elements of school, parent, peer, and extracurricular contexts, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Findings highlight the pervasiveness of high boredom among American youth and may benefit prevention and intervention efforts by identifying multiple contextual associations with adolescent boredom.
It is well documented that parental behavior is a strong determinant of a child’s educational achievement and general well-being. Thus, it seems relevant to analyze the determinants of parental involvement in the education of their children. While most studies analyze the effect of family characteristics (such as parents’ education, ethnicity, or family structure) on parental involvement, we focus on the effect of home environment. Specifically, we consider parental assistance in homework during adolescence, which is defined from the children’s perspective. Data come from a unique sample of more than 2,300 students in the last 2 years of compulsory education in 70 schools in Catalonia (Spain). Results show that a good home environment increases the relative probability that parents get involved in their children’s homework. The effect is slightly higher for girls than for boys. The inclusion of home environment leaves no relevance to family structure. Results are robust to different estimation procedures.
For many Black adolescents, racial discrimination increases the risk of developing adverse psychological outcomes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the interrelationships among religious involvement, racial discrimination, and psychological outcomes among a nationally representative sample of African American adolescents and Caribbean Black adolescents from the National Survey of American Life. Multiple regression models were used to determine the interactive effects of religious involvement and racial discrimination experiences on Black adolescents’ psychological outcomes. Findings indicate that religious involvement was a protective factor for Caribbean Black adolescents but not African American youth. The implications of these findings underscore the varied roles of religious involvement for African American and Caribbean Black adolescents.
This study examines students’ perceptions of disparities between teachers’ views and the school ethos in a religiously oriented school, and dissects the implications of such disparities on the children’s right to adaptable education. The study draws on 102 essays of students enrolled in an American Jewish high school that employs a diverse teaching staff. Findings demonstrate that teacher diversity in a religiously oriented school may fulfill the children’s right to adaptable education by motivating children to engage in social perspective taking, and to interact with multiple spheres of cultural affiliations. Teacher diversity may also serve children as they formulate their own views, while not undermining parental impact. In addition, the findings portray the children’s perceptions of the teachers’ duty to respect the communal spheres of adaptability by eschewing indoctrination, remaining open and respectful, and attending to age differences. Subsequently, we offer policy recommendations regarding the need to encourage teacher diversity in religiously oriented schools.
This study assesses the effects of physical and verbal discipline on delinquency among Chinese adolescents and whether parent–adolescent influences are domain and gender-specific. Data drawn from more than 2,700 middle school students from Fuzhou City, China yield results as follows: Parental use of physical and verbal discipline each increases the risk of delinquency in three domains after controlling for common correlates. Physical discipline exerts generally stronger effects than verbal punishment except for substance use, where verbal discipline is slightly stronger. The effects of physical and verbal discipline are domain- and gender-specific. While father’s physical discipline predicts son’s delinquency in three domains, mother’s physical discipline is associated with aggression and substance use among daughter. Contrarily, for verbal discipline, maternal punishment is associated with son’s delinquency, whereas paternal verbal discipline predicts daughter’s aggression. These results along with others are discussed in light of theoretical importance and policy implications.
This study was aimed to figure out whether perceived stress mediates the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological distress among Chinese migrant children and whether social support and engagement coping moderate the detrimental effects of perceived discrimination on psychological distress. The sample comprised 813 middle-school students (482 migrant children, 331 non-migrant children) from three schools in Southwest China. The results indicate that migrant children’s perceived discrimination and perceived stress are associated with psychological distress, and perceived stress does not mediate the relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological distress. Both social support and engagement coping are inversely related to psychological distress and compensate the deleterious influences of perceived discrimination and stress on psychological distress. These findings highlight the need to consider providing social support and cultivating engagement coping when designing mental health interventions to reduce the negative influence of perceived discrimination on Chinese migrant children’s mental health.
Self-regulation is a well-known construct in educational and psychological research, as it is often related to academic success and well-being. Drawing from criticisms of a lack of context applied to the investigation of this construct, the current study examined the multi-dimensional role of social support (teachers, parents, peers) and coping skills as predictors of self-regulated learning among a diverse sample of urban youth (N = 229). Based on a cross-sectional and longitudinal design, structural equation modeling was used to test two models. Social support predicted self-regulated learning at Time 1 and Time 2 after controlling for grades. Results further indicated that coping skills did not predict self-regulated learning in either model. The implications for practice, limitations of the study, and future directions for research are discussed.
Because addiction is a socially isolating disease, social support for recovery is an important element of treatment planning. This study examines the relationship between social isolation, giving and receiving social support in Alcoholics Anonymous during treatment, and post-treatment outcomes among juvenile offenders court-referred to addiction treatment. Adolescents (N = 195) aged 14 to 18 years were prospectively assessed at treatment admission, treatment discharge, 6 months, and 12 months after treatment discharge. The influence of social isolation variables on relapse and severe criminal activity in the 12-months post-treatment was examined using negative binomial logistic regressions and event history methods. Juveniles entering treatment with social estrangement were significantly more likely to relapse, be incarcerated, and commit a violent crime in the 12-months post-treatment. Giving help to others in Alcoholics Anonymous during treatment significantly reduced the risk of relapse, incarceration, and violent crime in the 12-months post-treatment whereas receiving help did not.
This study uses a large nationally representative sample to compare and contrast interpersonal bullying and cyberbullying by asking the following questions: (a) How does the prevalence of cyberbullying victimization compare with the prevalence of interpersonal bullying victimization? (b) How does the relationship between demographic predictors and cyberbullying victimization compare with the relationship between these predictors and interpersonal bullying victimization? and (c) How does the relationship between cyberbullying victimization and avoidance behaviors compare with the relationship between interpersonal bullying victimization and avoidance behaviors? Findings demonstrate that interpersonal bullying victimization is far more prevalent than cyberbullying victimization. Results also illustrate differences in the relationships between demographics and bullying victimization. Finally, students who are a victim of either form of bullying are more likely to engage in school avoidance behaviors. These results highlight the need for comprehensive and preventive programs that can reduce the negative consequences of bullying victimization.
Migrant youth are widely considered to engage in more delinquency than their local counterparts because they experience more strains, but few studies have empirically examined the delinquency of migrant adolescents in China. This study applied data of 496 local and 667 migrant adolescents in Shenzhen, China, and examined the effect of migrant status on delinquency and the mechanism of how strains contribute to delinquency. The study found that migrant adolescents, compared with their local counterparts, generally did not engage in higher levels of delinquency despite experiencing higher levels of strains. The pathways to delinquency under strains were similar between the two groups, which were partially mediated by weakening social control and increasing delinquent peer affiliation. The findings of this study challenge the migrant–delinquency link in the dominant Chinese discourse and suggest that migrant adolescents are not necessarily more deviant compared with local adolescents.
Youth from advantaged backgrounds have more social relationships that provide access to resources facilitating their educational success than those from low-income families. Does access to and mobilization of social capital also relate to success among the few low-income youth who "overcome the odds" and persist in higher education? Using nationally representative longitudinal data over a 14-year period, this study shows that although access to social capital in families, schools, and communities is positively related to entry into higher education, most forms of adolescent social capital are not independently associated with degree attainment. However, the mobilization of social capital through certain types of mentorship benefits both the college entry and bachelor’s degree attainment of low-income youth, more so than for their more economically advantaged peers. Findings suggest that developing enduring mentoring relationships and new social resources rooted in the higher education context may be especially important in facilitating degree attainment for young adults from low-income backgrounds.
The present study used nationally representative data from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) merged with census-track data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to model race-ethnic disparities in overweight, obesity, and obesity-related disease among children and adolescents as a function of neighborhood race-ethnic segregation, socio-economic status, household size and structure, family history of obesity, and other important predictors. Results indicate that African American and Hispanic children and adolescents are more likely to suffer from obesity and obesity-related disease than their non-Hispanic White peers. We also found that race-ethnic segregation proxied by the Index of Dissimilarity has a strong and negative effect on the weight status and health outcomes mentioned above. Moreover, race-ethnic segregation appears to explain up to 20% of the difference between minority children and their non-Hispanic White peers in the prevalence rate of overweight, obesity, and obesity-related disease.
For African American youth disproportionately exposed to community violence and the associated risk of externalizing behaviors, developmental assets that reduce the risk for externalizing behaviors and enhance adaptive coping should be explored. In a sample of 572 African American adolescents (Mage = 15.85; SD = 1.42), the current study explored whether future orientation or gender buffered the impact of community violence exposure on externalizing behaviors. The current study also examined the interaction between future orientation, gender, and violence-specific coping strategies to determine their association with externalizing behaviors. Future orientation moderated the relationship between violence exposure and delinquent, but not aggressive, behaviors. Future orientation interacted differently with coping for males and females to predict externalizing behaviors. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
This empirical study investigates adolescents’ responses to peers’ personal accounts of romantic relationship difficulties posted to an online forum. We analyze 440 anonymous responses to personal accounts of four romantic relationship issues: controlling partners, break-ups, trust issues, and partner cruelty. Responses were categorized, in order of prevalence, as judgment, recommendation, words of kindness, personal experience, and probing question. Adolescents who provide recommendations most often advise that peers terminate their relationships, rather than seek help or communicate directly. However, adolescents respond differently to cruelty, as compared with the other three relationship issues. Although still likely to recommend ending the relationship in cases of cruelty, they are significantly more likely to suggest seeking help, and less likely to suggest direct communication. Adolescents also respond differently depending on the poster’s gender: They offer more Recommendations overall, and specifically more Recommendations to Seek Help and Break-up/Move on, to female than to male posters.
Adolescence is a period of dramatic change that necessitates using skills and strengths to reduce physical aggression and increase happiness. This study examined the multiple facets of self-control skills in achieving both goals simultaneously, in a sample of 248 Arab adolescents in Israel. We conceptualized and tested a new multi-mediator model that posited two parallel paths. Structural equation modeling with bootstrap analysis supported the hypothesized model where self-control linked with subjective happiness directly, and indirectly through positive emotions and social support. In addition, self-control linked directly to physical aggression, and indirectly through hostility and anger. The findings provide new theoretical conceptualizations for further research and suggest possible mechanisms for prevention and intervention programs.
Through a cross-sectional design, this study examines whether practices of active participation (AP; that is, opportunities for decision making and leadership) and quality of relationships (QR) established between members of youth organizations (i.e., affective and instrumental support) relate to dimensions of youth`s identity (i.e., personal purpose, personal meaning) and sense of sociopolitical control (i.e., leadership, political efficacy). Participants (n = 347; 17-26 years) were drawn from 38 youth organizations in two regions of Chile. Results from multiple regression models controlling for demographics, length of involvement, and aim of the organization yielded significant interactions between QR and practices of AP on both indicators of identity and political efficacy. Only length of involvement in the organization was related to leadership outcomes. Findings highlight the powerful effects of the quality of the relational context of youth programs and organizations to actualize the benefits of AP.
To understand the purpose acquisition of young emerging adults (18-23), scholars claim we need to learn the types of purposes to which they are committing and how they conceptualize purpose differently from other related concepts such as future goals and the good life. To address these issues, we examined interviews with 229 young emerging adults about their life purpose, future goals, and conceptions of the good life. Although the interviewees’ purposes and future goals fit within shared categories of achievement, relationships, religion, and moral concerns, important differences also emerged. While one fourth of the sample lacked purpose, no one lacked a vision for the good life or future goals. Moreover, their future vision of the good life focused more on individualistic concerns such as happiness, material acquisitions and personal experiences with family being the only communal interest.
An extensive body of work shows that parental monitoring reduces the likelihood of risky behaviors among youth, yet little attention has been given to the factors compelling parents to engage in monitoring behaviors. The current study examines the association between non-familial, adolescent relationships (i.e., school connectedness, community connectedness, and peer relationships) and parental monitoring. The data used come from the Mobile Youth Survey (MYS), and from 2006 and 2011, resulting in a longitudinal sample of 3,287 adolescents. Longitudinal growth modeling reveals strong associations between non-familial relationships and parental monitoring, along with gendered effects across time. Implications for parental monitoring and delinquency in a low-income, Black American sample are discussed.
Despite boys’ educational underachievement, gender differences in study motivation have received little research attention. Guided by self-determination theory and the identity-based motivation model, this study investigates differences in study motivation between boys and girls, as well as within each gender. To adequately consider these within-gender differences, we investigate gender and gender typicality interactions in a sample of 6,380 Flemish seventh graders collected in 2012-2013. Results from multilevel analyses show that, in line with the educational gender gap, girls display higher levels of autonomous motivation. Furthermore, gender-typical girls score highest on autonomous motivation. Gender-typical boys score considerably lower, though they outperform self-perceived atypical boys and girls. In controlled motivation, no differences are observed between boys and girls of equal ability. Nevertheless, higher scores on gender typicality contribute to a higher sense of controlled motivation. The results are discussed in light of well-being, the need for autonomy, and gendered expectations of teachers.
This study used the risk and resilience framework to examine predictors of formal and informal sources of income among homeless young adults. Formal sources of income generation consisted of full-time, part-time, or paid, temporary work. Informal sources included earning money from selling personal possessions, selling drugs, and theft. In all, 601 homeless young adults from three U.S. cities participated in semi-structured interviews. Structural equation modeling assessed whether demographic, homelessness history, mental health, problem behaviors, and resilience predicted income generation source. Income generation from formal sources was associated with being male, having a greater number of problem behaviors, and reporting higher levels of resilience. Informal income generation was associated with younger age, being transient, and reporting a greater number of problem behaviors. Findings underscore the need to address homelessness risk factors to support homeless young adults in securing stable, formal employment as an alternative to informal survival behaviors to earn income.
Contemporary research suggests authoritative parenting is the most effective parenting style in deterring juvenile delinquency. Some research has found there are differences in parenting style between racial groups due to structural disadvantage faced by marginalized individuals. Yet, relatively little is known about how racial differences in parenting and the moderating effect of disadvantage relate to juvenile delinquency. The current project explores parenting style differences among Black, Hispanic, and White mothers and the moderating impact of disadvantage on delinquency. Results indicate authoritarian parenting is least effective in deterring delinquency among all racial groups; however, neighborhood disadvantage provides a negative moderating effect between authoritarian parenting and delinquency for Black youth only, whereas uninvolved parenting was related to delinquency for White youth only.
The current study examined whether students’ perceptions of school disorder influenced their psychosocial outcomes directly and indirectly via connectedness to school. The current study also explored moderation by the presence of a supportive figure in the school and investigated gender differences. Participants were 28,104 high school students. Results indicated that students’ perceptions of school disorder predicted more externalizing behaviors and internalizing symptoms directly and indirectly via reduced connectedness to school. Perceived school disorder also indirectly predicted lower academic grades. The presence of a supportive figure in the school lessened the detrimental influence of school disorder on student outcomes. Results also indicated that male students may stand to benefit more from the protective influence of a supportive figure in the school.
Across the world, community-based youth organizations are engaging youth as partners with adults to promote youth civic development. A sample of 528 youth from the United States, Portugal, and Malaysia were surveyed to explore associations between youth–adult partnership (youth voice in decision making; supportive adult relationships) and two key aspects of civic development (youth empowerment; community connections). Multi-level modeling, regression, and profile analysis were used to compare patterns of association across the three national samples. Results indicate that youth are most likely to achieve positive outcomes when they experience the freedom to make decisions, while experiencing trust and power sharing from adults. The results were consistent across the three national samples, suggesting that the influence of partnership may transcend cultures and contexts. Future scholarship should aim to support field professionals in building organizational structures and opportunities that encourage shared dialogue, program planning, and purposeful action among youth and adults.
This aim of this current research was a multi-level analysis of the relationship between school culture, basic psychological needs, and adolescents’ academic alienation. One thousand twenty-nine (N = 1,029) high school students from Qom City were randomly selected through a multi-phase cluster sampling method and answered questions regarding academic alienation, school culture, and basic psychological needs. Using HLM software for data analysis, the findings revealed that individual-level basic psychological needs had a negative and significant effect on academic alienation. Regarding school level, the effects of student–teacher relationship and educational opportunity on the academic alienation were negative and significant. In general, research findings emphasized the importance of studying multi-level factor roles and their relationship to academic alienation.
Research has found that when compared with civilian students, military-connected students in the United States have more negative mental health outcomes, stemming from the stress of military life events (i.e., deployment). To date, studies on military-connected youth have not examined the role of protective factors within the school environment, such as school climate, in the mental health and well-being of military-connected adolescents. Given this gap in the research on military adolescents, this study draws from a large sample of military and non-military secondary adolescents in military-connected schools (N = 14,943) and examines associations between school climate, military connection, deployment, and mental health. Findings show that multiple components of school climate are associated with a lower likelihood of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation and increased likelihood of well-being among students in military-connected schools, after controlling for student demographics, military connection, and deployments. The authors conclude with a discussion of school climate interventions for military-connected youth.
We examined Chinese adolescents’ aspirations and explored the relationship between relative intrinsic aspirations (RIA) and prosocial behaviors and whether adolescents with different levels of RIA have different emphases on self- and other-oriented considerations during prosocial decision making. In Study 1, 236 participants were recruited and completed a questionnaire containing the Aspiration Index and Prosocial Tendencies Measure. The results show that RIA are positively associated with adolescents’ prosocial behaviors. In Study 2, 158 adolescents completed a questionnaire containing the Aspiration Index and measurements of prosocial decision making and considerations in prosocial decision making. To some extent, adolescents with a lower level of RIA have a greater emphasis on self-oriented considerations, whereas adolescents with a higher level of RIA have a greater emphasis on other-oriented considerations. In addition, both studies suggest that Chinese adolescents value intrinsic aspirations above extrinsic ones.
Public health practice involving adolescents is largely focused on preventing or delaying the initiation of risk behavior. However, given the experimental and exploratory nature of this developmental period, this is often impractical. This article focuses on behavioral transitions and the ways in which youth involved in risk behaviors shift to more promotive behaviors. Based on a positive youth development perspective, in-depth interviews with urban youth were conducted and analyzed to gain an understanding of the influences on behavior change. Specific family support, ability to detach from harmful peer relationships, and school connectedness and vocational support emerged as important to those youths who made a positive behavioral transition. These findings suggest the importance of understanding ways to support the cessation of involvement in risk behaviors and reinforce the significance of contextual influences on youth development.
This study explores how linkages between adolescents’ educational attitudes and achievement vary according to race, expressive culture, and neighborhood collective socialization qualities. Specifically, the study examines (a) racial differences in how males’ educational attitudes relate to their academic performance (i.e., "attitude–achievement paradox"); (b) how the attitude–achievement paradox varies according to Black and White males’ expressive culture; and (c) the relation of collective socialization to racial differences in expressive cool, educational attitudes, and behavior. Using Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study (MADICS) data, I find that an attitude–achievement paradox among African Americans disappears when neighborhood collective socialization is considered; that expressive cool seems to have a stronger connection to adolescents’ achievement ideology rejection, and very little to their grade point average (GPA); and that neighborhood collective socialization decisively accounts for racial gaps in GPA. The concluding discussion considers why African Americans’ adherence to achievement ideologies fails to shield their GPAs from neighborhood socialization risks to the extent it does so for White males.
This study examined the circumstances under which family adults in Ghana were aware of their adolescent children’s involvement in premarital relationships. It was hypothesized that factors related to the seriousness and social acceptability of the relationship would influence the likelihood of family adults’ awareness in gender-specific ways. Data were derived for 606 premarital relationships reported by 423 adolescents (62% female) aged 14 to 21 years in southeastern Ghana. Family adults were more likely to know about adolescents’ premarital relationships when those relationships were longer lasting, emotionally closer, and involved marital intentions; when they involved out-of-school, employed partners; and when youth perceived that family adults were less disapproving of adolescent sexual activity. Adolescent girls were more likely than boys to report relationships with older, out-of-school, employed partners from financially better-off families. The seriousness and social acceptability of adolescents’ premarital relationships influence the likelihood of family adult awareness of such relationships.
Purpose is a concept receiving increasing attention in the developmental sciences. Making sense of your place in the world and finding meaning—a process fundamental to purpose—support positive development in adolescence and beyond. Using traditional ethnographic strategies, this article examines the development of purpose among a small group of youth growing up in Wallowa County, Oregon. Specifically, we emphasize the differing ways that young people from high, average, and low purpose groups make sense of themselves and their experiences within the context of rural life. We find that how young people make sense of their family’s social location has critical implications for purpose development.
The increase in shared residential arrangements is driven by the belief that it is in the best interest of the child. The maintenance of contact between child and parents can mitigate negative consequences of separation. However, selection mechanisms may account for a positive relationship between shared residential arrangements and child outcomes. This study examines the association between children’s residential arrangements and their school engagement, focusing on the parent–child relationship as a mediator and selection mechanisms. Structural equation models are performed on a sample of 973 secondary school pupils with separated parents from the Leuven Adolescents and Families Study (LAFS; 2008-2011). The results suggest that more parental time is related with a better parent–child relationship, and this leads indirectly to higher school engagement. However, shared residence may also have negative consequences for children and is certainly not the only residential arrangement in which children have a good relationship with both parents.
This study focused on the ability to experience a high ratio of positive to negative emotions in 807 Israeli adolescents aged 12 to 15 years (50% girls). While considering possible gender differences, we tested a model positing that adolescents’ self-control skills would link to their positivity ratio and indirectly through perceived social support from parents and classmates. Parental support was significantly higher than classmate support, and girls scored significantly higher than boys on self-control skills and on both support sources. Self-control skills linked directly with positivity ratio and indirectly through parents’ and classmates’ support, with no gender differences found for the overall model. The study highlights the importance of prevention and treatment programs designed to impart adolescents with prosocial self-control skills, to improve their perceived availability of social support and consequently to increase their positivity ratio during this intense developmental period.
General strain theory provides one framework for explaining the relationship between physical health and delinquency, pointing to mechanisms such as negative emotions, social bonds, and stress proliferation. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to examine these hypothetical mediators. Controlling for demographic factors, prior illicit behavior, and other strains, results from a series of regressions indicated that health-related strain (HRS) was positively associated with subsequent delinquency and marijuana use. Stressors at school were the primary mediators of these effects. Absences from school and social life due to health problems exerted an independent effect. The results lend support to the idea that experiencing HRS contributes to the proliferation of stress in other life domains, increasing the likelihood of delinquency and marijuana use.
Dating is a highly desirable experience during adolescence and serves as an important developmental milestone. This study explored healthy and unhealthy dating as a step toward improving adolescent well-being. Six focus group interviews were conducted with high school–aged girls and boys (N = 35). Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Youth were asked to describe what dating was like for teens in their age, including dating problems. Narrative analyses indicated the following four distinct stages of dating: getting in, being in, staying in, and getting out. Each stage is described in-depth, along with exemplary quotes. Practice implications for each stage of the dating experience emphasize developmentally timed universal health education starting in middle school. In particular, health programming is needed to improve adolescents’ skills for identifying unhealthy relationships to minimize "staying in," and for "getting out" safely and respectfully.
The goal of this study was to understand whether ethnic pride among young, incarcerated Black and Latino men was associated with successful community reentry. We interviewed 397 Black and Latino men 16 to 18 years old in a New York City jail and then again 1 year after their release to determine the relationship between participants’ sense of ethnic pride during incarceration, and substance use, violence, recidivism, and education/employment after release from jail. Participants with higher ethnic pride scores were less likely to engage in illegal activities and be reincarcerated. Ethnic pride was also associated with feeling safe in gangs and positive attitudes toward avoiding violence in situations of conflict. Ethnic pride was not associated with substance use, education, or engagement in community-based organizations post release. This study demonstrated that ethnic pride might be a source of strength that young men of color can harness for successful community reentry after release from jail.
This qualitative study explored how 24 youths’ behaviors during deployment were influenced by their perceptions of their non-deployed parents. Interviews were conducted with youths of previously deployed National Guard parents. Analysis of interviews suggests that the youths’ interactions with their non-deployed parents strongly influence their behaviors during deployment. Examined through the lenses of family systems and symbolic interaction, youths appear to base their behaviors upon perceptions of their non-deployed parents’ abilities to cope and manage the changes brought about during deployment. The majority of youths report reacting in ways intended to help their parents and families—whether by stepping up and assisting their non-deployed parents, or withdrawing physically or emotionally to reduce the emotional strain on parents. Implications of findings are discussed.
This study examines ecological level correlates of adverse peer relationships among early adolescents (ages 12-14). Data analysis was conducted using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). The sample was drawn from the mother–child data set, which included youth who in 2002 or 2004 were living with their mothers and enrolled in school. Eligible participants responded to at least 1 of the 13 items from the survey and their mothers responded to at least 1 of the 2 items measuring adverse peer relationships at Times 1 (2002/2004) and 2 (2004/2006). Multivariate hierarchical logistic regression was estimated. The presence of a learning disorder and adverse peer relationships at Time 1 (socio-demographics), perceptions of school environment (microsystem), and area of residence and perceptions of safety (exosystem) were all significantly associated with adverse peer relationships at Time 2. Assessing and targeting these ecological levels hold the potential to decrease adverse peer relationships among early adolescents.
The research presented uses intersectionality theory as a lens to study the racial identity construction of four African American young adolescent girls. The findings suggest that race was largely situated in a Black–White discourse for the girls in the study. When limited information was provided in home, school, and community settings, the participants made meaning from dominant discourses about race and identity, although glimpses of critical thinking about race did occur. In conclusion, the potential of including youth identity within intersectionality theory to broaden the utility of the theory itself and also for making meaning of and advocating for marginalized adolescents is discussed.
In an education system marred by inequity, urban schools in the United States are faced with the challenge of helping students from marginalized groups succeed. While many strategies have been tried, most are built on deficit-based models that blame students and teachers for a lack of achievement and ignore the role of power within the school setting. Building on the body of research on school climate, critical pedagogy, and empowering settings, the present study developed a model of student empowerment using a case study of an ethnically diverse urban high school in the midwestern United States. Participant observation, focus groups, and interviews were utilized to identify classroom and school characteristics related to student empowerment. Students reported equitable teacher–student relationships, integrated student leadership, and shared decision making. Similarly, school staff reported high staff empowerment and sense of community. The Student Empowerment Model is a useful framework for school improvement, adding "power" to the broader literature on school climate and extending the work on empowering settings to schools.
Scholarship regarding adolescent resilience has typically defined resilience as the absence of negative outcomes rather than the existence of positive outcomes. This study drew on the challenge model of resilience, which anticipates a curvilinear relationship between stress exposure and adaptive functioning, to test whether adolescents reporting moderate levels of stress exposure were more likely to evidence prosocial behavior than youth exposed to more or less stress. Using data from approximately 13,000 adolescents, we tested three analytic models and investigated hypothesized moderation by coping, social resources, and markers of adolescent status. Our results did not align with the challenge model. Instead, we found that stress exposure was differentially associated with measures of prosocial behavior, that social resources supported volunteering but impeded helping a peer in some instances, and that markers of historically marginalized status were more predictive of stopping peer harassment than volunteering. Implications for future research are discussed.
Youths who have deviant and delinquent friends are more likely to engage in delinquency. Interestingly, most quantitative studies of the association between deviant peers and deviant behavior have assumed that all peer connections have similar effects. Yet, it is possible that peer influence may vary depending on the characteristics of peers. Using social network data from two waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study examines the impact of same-sex and cross-sex friendships on deviance and delinquency in adolescent networks. The findings demonstrate that peer association is a significant predictor of delinquency for males, although its effects depend on the gender of boys’ friends. For females, by contrast, the link between associating with deviant peers and behavior is minimal once the stable characteristics of individuals are taken into account. Rather, social bonds are the most important predictors of delinquency.
Despite a nationwide trend to increase security measures in schools, their effectiveness in reducing or preventing student misbehavior remains largely unexamined. In addition, there is concern that increased security may have unintended negative side effects and is applied inequitably across students of disparate racial/ethnic backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to explore student differences between high- and low-security schools and to understand the relationship of security to student misbehavior. Data from 10,577 Grade 10 students from 504 public schools from the Education Longitudinal Study were examined. Numerous differences in students served by high- and low-security schools were noted; high-security schools were more likely to serve African American students. Security was negatively associated with student self-reported misbehavior but was unrelated to teacher ratings. Security interacted with race/ethnicity such that African American students were rated as having higher levels of disruptive and attendance-related misbehavior by teachers in schools with higher levels of security.
Text messaging, used by people of all ages, has become the preferred method of communication for teenagers. Teens spend a significant amount of their daytime hours in school. Schools have not readily accepted the use of cell phone technology for fear of academic dishonesty, distraction, and cyberbullying. The current study examined adolescent (n = 218) attitudes concerning text messaging in school. The majority of adolescents (71%) supported text messaging in school. A phenomenological qualitative approach revealed that adolescents’ experience with texting and school centers on student attention, connection (with family, friends, and emergency responders), and levels of regulation (personal, circumstantial, and school).
The focus of this study is to investigate school bonding among adolescents in immigrant families using a segmented assimilation theoretical framework. Data are drawn from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, a nationally representative sample of 10th graders. We focus on a subsample consisting of 9,870 first- (N = 1,170, 12 %), second- (N = 1,540, 16 %), and third-plus-generation (N = 7,160, 73%) students in 580 public schools. Our findings suggest that adolescents’ school bond seems to diminish or "decline" as the children of immigrants assimilate. Implications for research on racial/ethnic and immigrant generational disparities in adolescent social bonds to school are also discussed.
Sociopolitical values are hypothesized to form during adolescence, but the developmental and contextual origins of these values have been largely unexplored. A sample of 846 adolescents (Mage = 15.96, SD = 1.22, range = 13-20 years) reported on their organized activity involvement (volunteering, sports, church, community clubs, arts/music, school clubs) and their sociopolitical values (patriotism, authoritarianism, spirituality, social dominance, materialism). Structural equation models (controlling for demographics and accounting for shared variance among variables) indicated that there were unique associations between activities and values. Greater church and sports involvement was related to higher levels of spirituality. Involvement in sports was also related to higher levels of materialism and authoritarianism. Greater volunteer involvement was related to lower social dominance, and involvement in arts/music was associated with less patriotism. These findings suggest that organized activity involvement may provide a context for adolescents’ developing sociopolitical values. Implications and future directions are discussed.
This article explores how school-aged Chinese youth make meaning of the civic roles of citizens in the context of a society with a powerful one-party government. We examined how 16 focus groups (N = 64) of adolescents from urban and rural schools in Shanghai and Nantong talked about the causes and solutions of social problems facing China. Our analysis revealed a broad range of explanations of social problems, framed by contrasting narratives about the power relationship between the government and citizens. We explore how two narratives, categorized as cynical and compliant, dominated the group discussions in urban and rural schools, respectively, and how a third narrative, categorized as critical, also emerged.
We argue that adolescent friendships flourish, or wither, within the "linked lives" of other salient social network ties. Based on structural equation modeling with data from two time points, we find that young people tend to be in high-quality friendships when they are tightly embedded in their social network and receive social support from their peers, parents, and romantic partners. In addition, females have higher quality friendships than males, and the life course transition to marriage has detrimental effects on friendship quality. Findings show that the influence of parents does not end in childhood but continues into adolescence. Furthermore, although earlier research documents that friends affect romantic relationships, we find the reverse, that is, romantic partners influence friendships. Results demonstrate that social connectedness and support from a range of network ties contribute to high-quality, caring friendships among youth, highlighting the utility of life course and social network perspectives.
This study examined the lifetime prevalence of physical dating violence, including victimization, perpetration, and the overlap between the two (mutual violence), among a population sample of 551 reservation/reserve residing Indigenous (i.e., American Indian and Canadian First Nations) adolescents in the upper-Midwest of the United States and Canada. Potential correlates of four dating violence profiles (i.e., no dating violence, perpetration only, victimization only, and mutual violence) relevant to this population also were considered. The clearest pattern to emerge from multinomial logistic regression analyses suggested that adolescents who engage in problem behaviors, exhibit high levels of anger, and perceive high levels of discrimination have increased odds of lifetime mutual dating violence relative to those reporting no dating violence. Furthermore, gender comparisons indicated that females were more likely to report being perpetrators only, whereas males were more likely to report being victims only. Considerations of dating violence profiles and culturally relevant prevention strategies are discussed.
This study tested the situational hypothesis, by examining the perceived availability of three types of social support (emotional, informational, and instrumental) from parents and friends, with respect to occupational and interpersonal relationships issues. Participants were 257 Chinese Singaporean adolescents (120 males, 137 females) between ages 14 and 16. Results showed that males perceived greater parental than friend support, regardless of domains and types of social support. Females perceived greater parental than friend support in the occupational domain, but no significant difference was observed in the interpersonal relationship domain. Females also perceived greater emotional support from friends than parents, but more informational and instrumental support from parents than friends. These findings highlighted contextual and gender differences in the understanding of social support in adolescence. The results were also contrary to predictions according to the situational hypothesis and demonstrated the central influence of parents in the Chinese family, particularly on sons.
Pay-to-play fees in public schools place more support for sport participation in the hands of parents; this may disproportionately affect the ability of girls to garner the benefits of sports. Using an online survey of a national sample of parents (N = 814), we examined the relationship between parents’ gender role beliefs, parents’ beliefs about the benefits and monetary value of sports, and the types of sports their daughters play. The results indicate that parents placed somewhat greater value on sport for sons, than for daughters, both ideologically and financially. Gender role beliefs played a small, but significant role, in shaping parents’ beliefs about their daughters’ involvement in sport, and the types of sports their daughters play.
Missing from educational studies on English learners (ELs) is an investigation of those students who succeed beyond minimum standards, defying the achievement gap. The research study presented in this article contributes to this area by examining the experiences and understandings of five middle school ELs who have demonstrated linguistic and academic success. These students are former ELs who once were in need of language support but have now exited from English as a Second Language (ESL) instructional services and are currently enrolled in advanced coursework. A basic qualitative approach was employed utilizing multiple student data sources including interviews and observations. In addition, two of each student’s teachers were interviewed individually for the purposes of triangulation. This manuscript identifies areas of social support contributed to these students’ success and discusses ways in which students understood and activated this support.
Little is known about what factors contribute to African American youth desisting from offending. Participants were 3,230 moderate- to high-risk adolescents from Washington State who completed a statewide risk assessment to assess the likelihood of recidivism. Participants were screened by juvenile probation officers between 2003 and 2010. Researchers investigated whether youth possessed protective factors and whether developmental change took place after contact with the juvenile justice system. It was hypothesized that having protective factors would decrease the likelihood of recidivism and the impact of each factor would differ by gender. Findings indicate African American youth have protective factors across a range of domains. However, little developmental change occurs after contact with the juvenile justice system. Impulse control, parental supervision, and pro-social peers were important for reducing recidivism. Problem solving was more influential for African American males, while impulse control and parental supervision were more influential for African American females. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.
The study of adolescent childbearing is a major public policy concern, and father involvement is a particular focus. Previous research with married couples has found that coparenting may be a better predictor of father involvement than relationship quality. The current study examined 94 primiparous African American and Latino parents to determine whether coparenting expectations during pregnancy better predict concurrent father involvement secondary to a mediation effect. Results were mixed; simple mediation was supported, but structural equation modeling (SEM) results suggested a better fitting model for mothers than for fathers. For mothers, relationship quality predicted coparenting. For fathers, relationship quality and coparenting predicted father involvement, but relationship quality did not predict coparenting. This examination suggests that both relationship quality and coparenting are important for father involvement in unmarried adolescents but to differing degrees for mothers and fathers. Pregnancy may be an important potential intervention point for increasing subsequent father involvement.
Research on school bullying and violence has always been working with taxonomies of bullying to categorize aggressive acts. Researchers distinguish between direct and indirect or between physical, verbal, and relational bullying. Cyberbullying is categorized either by type of action or by type of medium. In this article, we propose another kind of categorization: the taxonomy of reasons. A questionnaire was developed that asks for the five dimensions "instrumental," "power," "sadism," "ideology," and "revenge." It was tested with middle-school children in Germany. While bullies claim that their reasons were mostly revenge, victims mostly insinuate sadism and power. Both groups claim that ideology and instrumental violence play a little role. Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA) show that at least four of the theoretically proposed dimensions make sense (except instrumentality). A qualitative analysis of open answers shows that for future questionnaires, the taxonomy should include additional dimensions, such as peer pressure and lack of self-control.
The present study of 659 Korean adolescents tests General Strain Theory’s (GST) utility in explaining gender differences in delinquency causation. It models the effects of key strains, negative emotions, and a composite measure of several conditioning factors separately for boys and girls and for delinquency. Consistent with the theory, males and females experience different strains and different emotions in response, and they vary in influences hypothesized to alter the connections of strains or emotions to delinquency. Strains that males experience more than females are significantly related to their violent and property delinquency, and those concentrated among females explain their status offending. For boys, family conflict influences different types of delinquency and examination-related strain predicts violent and status offending. The empirical research suggested that GST falls short in explaining boys’ and girls’ property and status offending, and in showing how a composite measure of conditioning factors act as a moderator in explaining their delinquency.
Prosociality, conceptualized as a willingness to help, to be fair, and to be friendly to others, is essential to the maintenance of a civil society and has been linked with multiple measures of individual well-being. This study examines how individual, family, and neighborhood factors affect adolescents’ level of prosociality and tests for moderating influences in these relationships. Data for this study come from the 12-year-old cohort of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) study (N = 723). Results show that being female and having the ability to rely on family, a teacher/coach, or an adult in the community predicts significantly higher levels of prosociality. In addition, I find that neighborhood collective efficacy moderates the relationship between gender and prosociality, serving as a protective factor in the development of prosociality for boys. The findings of this study are discussed in the context of a sociological view of positive youth development.
Femininity is learned from a myriad of social agents and institutions. An avid consumer of media, today’s pre-adolescent girl, or "tween," is inundated with messages about how to be a socially acceptable female. What is the nature of these messages tweens are receiving about femininity? Are tween girls in today’s society encouraged to adhere to traditional notions of femininity or are they encouraged to resist these norms? To answer these questions, I performed a content analysis of all advertisements found in Girls’ Life, a magazine whose target audience is the tween girl. Textual and pictorial coding took place for all advertisements in all issues for the years 2007 and 2008. Results revealed the presence of conflicting messages about femininity through the emergence of four themes: female togetherness, focus on appearance, independence, and control. The magazine presents a contradictory version of femininity, one that encourages the adherence to normative prescriptions of femininity while simultaneously encouraging resistance to these norms.
The NLSY97 data were used to explore the patterns of developmental trajectories of body weight in adolescence and how they affected the likelihood of college completion in young adulthood among 2,275 youths aged 13 and 14 in Wave 1. A strong weight trajectory gradient was found for rates of college completion. The study further explored the role of non-cognitive traits in the association between weight trajectories and college attainment. Non-cognitive traits were found to partially mediate the impact of certain weight trajectories on the likelihood of college completion. Some moderating effects of conscientiousness were also found. The findings from the gender and weight trajectory interaction terms showed that a stronger negative impact of weight trajectory on college completion is only observed for women in the late-teen-onset overweight group. This study highlights the importance of using a longitudinal weight measure and the role of non-cognitive traits in adolescent obesity research.
This article details the development and validation of a measure of critical consciousness, defined as the capacity of oppressed or marginalized people to critically analyze their social and political conditions, endorsement of societal equality, and action to change perceived inequities. In Study 1, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted with a diverse sample of youth, resulting in three internally consistent factors: (a) Critical Reflection: Perceived Inequality, (b) Critical Reflection: Egalitarianism, and (c) Critical Action: Sociopolitical Participation. In Study 2, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was completed with a new sample of youth. Strong model fit estimates in Study 2 confirmed the factor structure of Study 1 and resulted in a final 22-item measure called the "Critical Consciousness Scale" (CCS). The CCS has the potential to unite and advance the fragmented conceptualization and measurement of critical consciousness, the primary motivation for the development of the scale.
Endings in youth mentoring relationships have received little empirical attention despite the fact that many relationships do end. The present study utilized qualitative interview data collected from participants in a longitudinal study of community-based mentoring relationships to examine how and why the relationships ended and how participants experienced these endings. Interviews with 48 pairs of mentors and youth and the youth’s parent or guardian conducted at the time the mentoring relationship ended were analyzed. Three types of procedural endings (formal goodbye planned and completed, formal goodbye planned but not completed, and agency ended) were identified as were five main reasons for relationship endings (changes in life circumstances, youth dissatisfaction or disinterest, mentor dissatisfaction, gradual dissolution, and mentor abandonment). Interrelationships between ending types and reasons are discussed, as are the roles of relationship strength and program support in these processes.
The present study sought to examine the relationship between Chinese high school students’ academic self-efficacy and their academic-related boredom. Another objective was to explore the moderating effects of mono-amine-oxidase type A (MAOA) gene polymorphism on this relationship. In a sample of 514 Chinese high school students, we measured their academic self-efficacy and academic-related boredom from Grades 10 to 12. In addition, we collected their DNA. Data were analyzed by using a linear mixture model. The results indicated that students’ academic self-efficacy negatively predicted their academic-related boredom. The relationship between academic self-efficacy and academic-related boredom was more reliable for students with the 3-repeat allele than for the students with the 4-repeat allele. The findings suggested that the functional polymorphism of MAOA gene moderated the relationship between academic self-efficacy and academic-related boredom.
Adolescence is a particularly important and challenging time for developing long-lasting romantic relationship patterns. However, limited empirical research has explored teen perceptions of ideal partner characteristics during adolescence or their significance to the quality of current and future relationships. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 33 African American high school girls to shed light on the qualities desired in their dating relationships and relational factors that influence teen dating behaviors. Guided by the Social Ecological Framework, interviews were transcribed verbatim and entered into ATLAS.ti, for coding and analysis. Girls discussed the important influence of parents in choosing a partner and provided positive depictions of friendship and marriage with a suitable partner. More research is needed to understand how and why adolescents desire particular characteristics, how socialization shapes teen perceptions, and how these preferences may be related to current and future adolescent dating choices, including violence perpetration and victimization.
This study examines changes in religious service attendance over time for a contemporary cohort of adolescents moving from middle to late adolescence. We use two waves of a nationally representative panel survey of youth from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) to examine the dynamics of religious involvement during adolescence. We then follow with an analysis of how demographic characteristics, family background, and life course transitions relate to changes in religious service attendance during adolescence. Our findings suggest that, on average, adolescent religious service attendance declines over time, related to major life course transitions such as becoming employed, leaving home, and initiating sexual activity. Parents’ affiliation and attendance, on the other hand, are protective factors against decreasing attendance.
While it is well understood that adolescent religiosity is associated with the use and abuse of licit and illicit substances, few studies have revealed the pathways through which religiosity buffers youth against involvement in such behavior. The aim of this study is to examine the complexity of the relationships between religiosity, sensation seeking, injunctive norms, and adolescent substance use. Using a national sample of adolescents (N = 18,614), negative binomial regression and path analysis were used to examine the various components of the relationship between religiosity and the use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Results indicate that private religiosity moderates the relationship between key risk factors and substance use. Public and private religiosity were associated with tolerant injunctive substance use norms which, in turn, were associated with substance use. Implications for research and theory related to religiosity and adolescent substance use are discussed.
Youth mentoring relationships have significant potential for promoting positive youth development. Nonetheless, the benefits derived from such relationships depend considerably on the length and quality of the bonds that are created between mentors and youth. Although some attention has been paid to youth’s experience of relationship quality, few studies have focused on mentors’ experience of relationship quality. In the context of a national sample of mentor and youth dyads in Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based mentoring programs (N = 5,222), the current study validated a new mentor-reported measure of relationship quality, explored associations between mentor and youth assessments of relationship quality, and investigated the capacity of early assessments of relationship quality to predict mentoring relationship duration. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Drawing upon a sample of 772 migrant children and their parents in Shanghai, China, this study used an ecological framework to investigate how social capital embedded in a range of social contexts (i.e., family, school, peer, and community) influenced the psychosocial adjustment of Chinese migrant children. Using structural equation modeling with latent variables, the study results suggested that higher levels of family, school, and peer social capital were all associated with better psychosocial adjustment of migrant children, with school social capital showing the strongest effect. In addition, these three dimensions of social capital also mediated the effect of community social capital on children’s psychosocial adjustment. Implications of these findings for theory, practice, and future research were discussed.
Previous studies find that romantic relationships adversely affect adolescents’ psychological well-being, yet none examine the differential effects of adolescent romance for same-race and interracial daters. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), I find that heterosexual adolescents in same-race relationships are more likely to be depressed than non-daters, but interracial daters have greater odds of risk for depression than their non-dating and same-race dating peers. Experiencing a romantic breakup explains the elevated risk of depression for daters in general, and same-race daters specifically, but not interracial daters. Furthermore, the associations that relationship status (dating vs. non-dating) and couple’s racial composition (same-race vs. interracial) have with depression are not moderated by race or gender. The findings highlight the differential effects of same-race and interracial romantic relationships on adolescent’s psychological well-being and the need to further examine the well-being of interracial daters.
To date, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that examines gang membership in schools. Using statewide data of 7th-, 9th-, and 11th-grade students from California, this study focuses on the prevalence of gang membership by county, region, ethnicity, and grade level. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed with gang membership as the outcome of interest. Approximately 8.4% of the student sample reported that they consider themselves to be a member of a gang. Regional-level rates of gang membership across six geographical areas are all in a relatively narrow range and gang members are fairly evenly distributed across California schools. The findings imply that schools are a good place to focus on gang prevention and intervention, and educators need to be aware of the possible gang activity in their schools to provide the appropriate resources, programs, and support for these students.
Socio-ecological models of victimization reporting incorporate normative constraints and instrumental considerations at the individual and contextual levels. Drawing on this model, we explore factors related to students’ willingness to report problem behaviors that they might observe in school. Data obtained from student and teacher/administrator surveys and administrative data are used to explore these relationships. We find that individual-level factors are the primary determinants of reporting attitudes, but school context is also important. Students are more willing to report misbehavior in schools with democratic authority structures and consistent enforcement of school rules. Attitudes toward reporting are less favorable when the school culture is supportive of a street code, and the effect of street code culture is fully explained by students’ personal norms and experiences. We also find evidence that personal adherence to a street code moderates the effect of school context on reporting attitudes. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Theories suggest curricular tracking is linked to racial/ethnic inequality. However, prior studies largely examine cognitive outcomes like standardized test scores and neglect behavioral outcomes. They also overlook potential racial/ethnic differences within curricular tracks. This study asks the following questions: (a) Is curricular tracking associated with young women’s social and behavioral outcomes during the transition to adulthood (dropping out of high school, teen motherhood, and poverty)? and (b) Are there racial/ethnic differences in these associations? Using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data and logistic regression, results show that all women reduce risks of negative outcomes in the college and vocational tracks compared with the general track. However, college track coursework buffers White women from dropping out and teen motherhood (but not poverty) significantly more than it does Black and Latina women. Thus, racial gaps are greatest within the college track rather than lower tracks, suggesting that the college track may be a site for opportunity hoarding among Whites.
Through the framework of power-control theory (PCT), we provide a model of juvenile offending that places the gendered-raced treatment of juveniles central to the analysis. We test the theory using a unique sample that is predominately African American, poor, and composed entirely of juvenile offenders. Multivariate models compare the predictive power of many variables, including ones central to PCT, on status offenses and other, more serious, offenses. Gender and race variables were found to be significant, but varied in their impact across models. The interaction between these variables suggests that being Black and female increases the likelihood of sanctioning for status offenses, but not other types of offenses. Contrary to the theory, single-mother-headed households do not seem to produce more delinquent girls than other types of households. The overall findings of this study indicate that patriarchy and white privilege are continuing characteristics of the juvenile justice system.
The use of digital media by adolescents living in out-of-home care raises safeguarding and risk-management concerns, creating challenges for practitioners in how to control risk while promoting independence. This article explores how professionals working in residential care negotiated their own and adolescents’ use of ubiquitous digital phenomena. Extracts from everyday conversations occurring during a participatory research project working with adolescents and carers in four English residential care homes are discursively analyzed to demonstrate how professionals drew on socially available resources to construct digital media usage. Analysis demonstrates an orientation toward mobilizations of powerlessness as accepted, the usefulness of constructing digital competency as a function of generation, and the need for professionals to embrace powerlessness. Adopting a position of embraced powerlessness accepts the inability to halt access and use of digital technologies. This position enabled workers to facilitate opportunities for digital resilience development in vulnerable adolescents.
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is of increasing concern, yet many adolescents who self-injure are reluctant to seek professional help. Instead, they turn to friends for support, although it is unclear what these friends can offer. This study aimed to identify adolescents’ views of how peers and online friends can help young people who self-injure, and examine differences according to age, gender, and exposure to NSSI. Students (n = 2,637; aged 12-18 years) from 41 schools completed questions asking them to describe what peers and online friends could do to help young people who self-injure. Thematic analysis identified seven strategies, including communication about NSSI with peers and online friends, referral to adults and health professionals, greater public awareness of NSSI, and reduced peer stigma and bullying. Endorsement of themes varied by age, gender, and experience with NSSI. Findings have implications for school prevention of NSSI.
Dropout is a major issue facing our country’s schools; however, many students who drop out of school later go on to finish their degree either by returning to high school or by earning a General Education Development (GED) credential. Despite this, there has been relatively little research on these students who "stopout" of high school. Drawing on a sample of high school dropouts, we build on research conceptualizing dropouts as having been "pushed" or "pulled" out of school by examining how routes out of school influence the process of return. Our analysis reveals that being either pushed or pulled has little differential impact on the reengagement process. But, particular reasons within the categories have strong effects on keeping students out of school and on the pathways that they take if they return. Implications are suggested for both school practice and for how researchers should best conceptualize dropouts.
The current study examined the association between playing high school football and involvement in violent behaviors in sibling pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The analysis revealed that youth who played high school football self-reported more violence than those youth who did not play football. Quantitative genetic analyses revealed that 85% of the variance in football participation was the result of genetic factors and 62% of the variance in violent behavior was due to genetic factors. Additional analyses indicated that 54% of the covariance between football participation and violence was due to genetics and 46% was the result of nonshared environmental influences. However, even after controlling for genetic influences, participation in football appeared to increase violent behavior.
Why are transfer students at an increased risk for disengagement and dropout? Previous research suggests that the loss of school-based social relationships play a role. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) are used to analyze what predicts student transfer and what effect this has on students’ social relationships. Results are based on propensity score matching techniques and are compared with those from a more traditional approach that utilizes regression methods. Findings indicate transfer students report fewer school friends and fail more courses. In addition, transfer students report increased closeness to their teachers after changing schools. Conclusions point to the importance of gatekeepers within institutions, such as teachers, to help individuals rebuild social solidarity after mobility between institutions.
The relationship between religious service attendance and adolescent externalizing behavior is well established in the aggregate, but little is known about what behavioral and psychosocial differences may or may not exist among adolescents who regularly attend religious services. Using a nationally representative sample of frequent religious service attending adolescents (N = 26,765), latent class analysis and multinomial regression were used to examine the relationships between latent externalizing classes and protective factors related to self-control. Results revealed a four-class solution comprised of a normative class (66.52%) as well as three externalizing classes: substance users (17.17%), fighters (12.65%), and severe offenders (3.66%). Compared with the normative class, members of the externalizing classes were significantly less likely to benefit from individual, parental, and academic protective factors related to self-control. Findings suggest that regular religious service attendance is relevant to externalizing behavior, but that it does not function as a panacea.
This qualitative study examines how Latina girls’ understanding of infidelity influences how they approach and interact with romantic partners. In-depth interviews with 24 Mexican American girls, ages 14 to 18, growing up in inner-city neighborhoods, formed the basis of this study. Although cheating was a major concern, most of the girls were more concerned with the emotional ramifications of being cheated on than any physical consequences. Fueled by a belief that most boys are "players," they became adept at identifying "red flags" that might indicate infidelity. The most frequently mentioned red flags were "Putting in the Time," "Adopting a Public Versus Private Persona," "Partner Seems Less Interested," "Being Secretive," and "Flirting with Other Girls." They also relied on electronic surveillance and peer warnings. Although the girls attempted to protect themselves, their reactions and behaviors were often constrained by a larger patriarchal structure outside their immediate control. Implications for gender-specific programs are discussed.
This study investigated the contribution of assimilation, sociodemographic factors, and social supports to depressive symptoms in immigrant adolescents, using Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 4,263). Immigrant adolescents reported more risk factors and higher levels of depressive symptoms than native peers. However, generational status ceased to be a correlate of depressive symptoms when sociodemographic variables were controlled. Findings challenge assimilation theories premised on the assumption that immigrants face unique migration-related challenges. Immigrant adolescents are vulnerable due to greater likelihood of increased age, a racial/ethnic minority status, and lower socioeconomic status. They are also at a comparative disadvantage for social supports. Stress and supports were identified as mediators with unique relationships to sociodemographic factors. Assimilation theory, social network theory, and an ecological perspective informed the study.
The well-being of young people is of considerable concern with many initiatives targeting the health behaviors of this population. Educators are among the professional groups being challenged to understand, evidence, and enhance childhood well-being. Working with a case study U.K. school adolescent subjective well-being (SWB) was examined through the administering of the Personal Wellbeing Index–School Children (PWI-SC; n = 840) and focus groups with pupils (n = 18). PWI-SC results suggest significant differences in personal well-being between school years (p < .001). Focus group data indicate that transitional periods associated with adolescence, feeling unsafe, and anxiety over the future were linked to a lowering of SWB. Asset-based well-being strategies that promote health literacy and build on the resources of young people and local communities are considered as a means for schools to promote well-being.
The present study uses an ecological systems perspective to examine how parental involvement in school-related activities in sixth grade influences early adolescents’ school bonding and academic achievement in eighth grade. Results of multilevel models of multiple data sources (i.e., adolescents, parents, and principals) suggested that parents’ involvement in school, as reported by the adolescent in sixth grade, was a significant predictor of school bonding and academic grades in eighth grade. Furthermore, parent reports of guidance, support, and involvement in school and non-school activities were unrelated to their adolescents’ grades and school bonding. Finally, schools’ efforts to engage parents did not consistently predict an association between parental involvement and adolescent outcomes.
This study examined the relations among sport involvement and social and personal influences on high school students’ educational expectations and attainment, using National Education Longitudinal Survey-88. Athletic engagement, educational expectations of significant others, peer support for academics, parental involvement in academics, and academic and athletic identities were measured in the 10th grade. Educational expectations and attainment were measured in the 12th grade and 8 years after high school. Socioeconomic status, academic ability, and school size were controlled. Results indicated that athletic engagement was related to youths’ formation of identities, but only their academic identity was associated with later educational outcomes. Athletic engagement and identity were not adversely related to educational outcomes.
This article examines the relationship between after-school program quality, program attendance, and academic outcomes for a sample of low-income after-school program participants. Regression and hierarchical linear modeling analyses use a unique longitudinal data set including 29 after-school programs that served 5,108 students in Grades 4 to 8 over 2 years. Program quality measures, based on activity observations, include supportive environment, opportunities for purposeful engagement, and structured interactions. Findings suggest that middle school students attend programs with greater purposeful engagement less often, while attendance for younger students is less sensitive to program quality. Greater purposeful engagement is associated with lower test scores for elementary and middle school students. In contrast, a more supportive environment and greater opportunities for structured interactions relate to improvements in test scores. Findings are discussed in light of ongoing policy debate regarding the proper focus of after-school programs and concerns about poor program attendance.
Even when accounting for past performance, academic achievement can be influenced by teacher expectations, which are lower for disadvantaged and visible ethnic minority children. We use a Quebec (Canada) population-based sample (N = 1,311) to examine whether ethnicity and teacher-perceived signs of disadvantage in kindergarten predict child reports of their relationship with teachers in fourth grade. Results suggest that visible minority children were 50% less likely and perceived disadvantaged children were 32% less likely to report having a positive relationship with their teacher. The findings are discussed in terms of directing efforts toward reducing teacher prejudice and improving child academic success.
The purpose of this article is to explore the role of neighborhood characteristics, specifically economic disadvantage/advantage, residential instability, and racial/ethnic heterogeneity on emotional distress (depressed affect, anxiety, hopelessness) among youth. Using a regional sample of adolescents and matching their data to census tracts, we use hierarchical linear modeling to examine the relationship of neighborhood spatial factors on distress while controlling for individual, family, peer, and school factors. Results show neighborhood effects for adolescent distress are consistent with a stress process model where economic disadvantage and residential instability are positively associated with emotional distress, and indicators of economic advantage are negatively related. Specifically, we find neighborhood unemployment and housing vacancy rates are associated with increased distress, while the percentage of college graduates and foreign-born residents in the neighborhood is associated with reduced distress. We discuss the implications of our findings for ongoing research on neighborhood contextual effects and adolescent health.
There is a diverse literature that explores the relationship between youth, music, and mental health, with few attempts at systematic synthesis. This critical interpretive review included 33 studies published between 2000 and 2012 investigating the relationship between music and the mental health of young people, particularly targeting depression. An iterative methodology was used involving several layers of inductive analysis with the intention of generating an organizing framework that critically synthesized the available literature. The organizing framework highlights that decisions related to research design, assessment of health, and the nature of musical engagement have predictably influenced study outcomes. Studies have been limited by the collection of insufficient detail about the full range of individual’s musical behaviors. In addition, there has been inadequate triangulation of health outcomes solicited from a variety of perspectives. More comprehensive research is needed that avoids simplistic dichotomies in relation to music and youth mental health.
This article explores collective identity as a useful theoretical framework for understanding social and developmental processes that occur in youth programs. Through narrative analysis of past participant interviews (n = 21) from an after-school theater program, known as The SOURCE, it was found that participants very clearly describe a collective "member" identity. Aspects of the collective identity become psychological assets that participants are able to recall at later points in their lives—in their future roles as college roommates, parents, teachers, nurses, and so on. Findings suggest that collaboratively and purposefully crafting a collective identity provides youth programs with a useful way to cultivate meaningful results of participation for current members as well as provide an underlying identity framework that past participants can build on in new social arenas as emerging adults.
This comparative study examined how participation in an early childhood development (ECD) program, Better Beginnings, Better Futures, for children (ages 4-8) relates to sense of community (SOC) in later adolescence (ages 18-19). Youths’ stories (N = 96) about community experiences, collected by semistructured, open-ended interviews, were quantitatively coded for several narrative dimensions (specificity, positivity, prosocial content, and meaning-making) and for elements of SOC (membership, influence, needs fulfillment, and shared emotional connection). Findings show a significant positive relationship between all narrative dimensions and the total SOC score. Better Beginnings youths’ stories (n = 64) were significantly higher on specificity and shared emotional connection than comparison youth (n = 32). Findings have implications for community-based ECD programs to impact later adolescence SOC and for using narratives to study these effects.
Starting from a political socialization perspective, this study examined the development of political participation during adolescence and early adulthood. We explore the effect of parents, peers, school media, and voluntary associations on political participation. Self-reported data were collected from 3,025 Belgian adolescents at three points in time: at age 16, age 18, and age 21. Latent growth curve modeling was conducted to analyze the effect of the five agents of socialization on the initial level and development of political participation. As hypothesized, we find that all political socialization agents influence the initial level and development of political participation over time. Peers and voluntary associations have the largest influence on the initial level of political participation and on its development. Parents and school would appear to be of less importance. While watching more television has a negative effect, more news consumption and internet use leads to more political participation.
National data from Monitoring the Future were used to examine patterns and predictors of college attendance. Samples of American 12th-grade students from 1977 to 2003 were followed for 7 years (modal ages 18-25; N = 10,020). College attendance and graduation patterns varied considerably over historical time and based on family background. Substance use during high school predicted a greater likelihood of never attending (for cigarettes, illegal drugs), of graduating from a 2-year rather than a 4-year school (for cigarettes), and of dropping out versus graduating from a 4-year school (for cigarettes, marijuana, and other illegal drugs). High school binge drinking predicted lower college dropout, but only in models also controlling for cigarette, marijuana, and other illicit drug use. This study provides a needed overview of adolescent predictors of patterns of college attendance among American young adults over the past three decades.
Ethnic minority adolescents experience certain sleep problems, yet factors that affect their sleep are poorly understood. This study examined the association between ethnic discrimination and sleep during adolescence and the extent to which perceived stress mediated these associations. This study also examined whether school belonging can protect adolescents from discrimination’s negative association with sleep. Latino (n = 247) and Asian American (n = 113) adolescents (Mage=17.18, SD = .75; 57% female) completed self-reports of overt and subtle discrimination, sleep quality, sleep hours, perceived stress, and school belonging. Both overt and subtle discrimination were associated with worse sleep quality. Only subtle discrimination was associated with getting less sleep. The associations between discrimination and sleep hold even after controlling for perceived stress. School belonging buffered the negative effect of overt discrimination on sleep. Findings suggest that discrimination is a unique type of vigilance that affects sleep; however, school belonging may be a positive resource for adolescents.
Research on drug markets indicates that they are not randomly distributed. Instead they are concentrated around specific types of places. Theoretical and empirical literature implicates routine activities and social disorganization processes in this distribution. In the current study, we examine whether, consistent with these theories, drug markets are particularly likely to form near schools. This research contributes to our understanding of adolescent drug use patterns by assessing some of the place and neighborhood-level mechanisms that help explain how schools facilitate access to illicit drugs. Using data from Albuquerque, New Mexico, we find that neighborhoods with middle schools and high schools experience more drug crime than neighborhoods without middle or high schools. Moreover, the relationship between school presence and drug crime is strongest during the hours directly before, during, and after school. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.
Students become increasingly disconnected from their schools across the middle school years, but little is known about the factors contributing to changes in school connectedness. This study examined the time-invariant and time-varying roles of depressive symptoms and externalizing problems in trajectories of student-perceived school connectedness across the middle school years. Three yearly waves of data were collected from 296 students beginning in the sixth grade. Hierarchical linear modeling results indicated that school connectedness declined across time. Initial levels of adjustment problems at school entry were concurrently associated with lower levels of connectedness. Initial levels of externalizing problems did not account for rate of decline, but elevated levels of externalizing problems across the middle school years were associated with lower concurrent levels of connectedness. Surprisingly, initial levels of depressive symptoms predicted a slower rate of decline in connectedness for boys. Findings highlight the detrimental associations between adjustment problems and school connectedness.
The present study aims to map the life satisfaction of adolescents from ethnic minority/immigrant backgrounds in schools with high concentrations of co-ethnic peers by comparing them with their mainstream counterparts in Hong Kong. The life satisfaction of 1,522 students was measured by the validated Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. Tests of invariance were conducted followed by latent mean analysis. In contrast to the public debates on the undesirability of co-ethnic education, the findings do not suggest negative associations between the ethnic minority or immigrant status of these students and their self-appraised global and specific life satisfaction in school and with friends. This study confirms that a school factor exists and that there are significant differences in the life satisfaction of the student groups under review. Educating students in schools with high concentrations of co-ethnic peers appears to benefit South Asians but not mainland Chinese immigrant students.
The primary aim of this study was to examine how and why adolescents make decisions regarding whether to conduct their communication via texting versus calling features of cellular telephones. Individual semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with 41 adolescents aged 14 to 18 focusing on their use of calling and texting when communicating with friends, parents, and romantic partners. Through grounded theory analysis, a conceptual decision-tree emerged depicting a process of decision making based on communication content, communication partner, and situational limitations. Further analysis indicated that the adolescents consistently perceived texting as easier than calling in ways that were meaningful to their everyday lives. Findings reflect the complex interweaving of logic, personal preference, and concession to social constraints that goes into adolescents’ choices to call versus text.
This study examined whether Dutch children reared in families headed by female same-sex parents differ in civic competence from Dutch children reared by opposite-sex parents. The participants, drawn from a national sample, included 32 children (11-13 years old) parented by female same-sex couples who were matched on demographic characteristics with 32 same-aged children parented by opposite-sex couples. The comparison revealed that children raised by female same-sex parents scored significantly higher on several civic competencies, specifically on attitudes concerning acting democratically, dealing with conflicts, and dealing with differences. These results suggest that growing up in a nontraditional family may be associated with a greater appreciation of diversity and the development of good citizenship.
Despite evidence that American Indian (AI) adolescents are disproportionately involved in crime and delinquent behavior, there exists scant research exploring the correlates of crime among this group. We posit that Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) is well suited to explain AI delinquent activity. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examined a subsample of AI students—a study that represents, to the best of our knowledge, the initial published test of GST principles used to explain AI delinquent behavior. Overall, we find mixed support for the core principles of GST applying to AI delinquent behavior. We also found evidence that some of the personal and social resources identified by Agnew condition the strain–delinquent behavior relationship, albeit, sometimes in ways that are not entirely consistent with GST.
The present study examines the relationship between neighborhood quality and parental monitoring of youth aged 10 to 18 (N = 1,630) from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Multiple measures of the neighborhood, including parents’ perceptions of quality, structure (i.e., poverty and affluence), and social organization (i.e., collective efficacy), are examined to gain a deeper understanding of how neighborhoods influence parenting. Parental monitoring is assessed through two separate measures: parents’ knowledge of their youth’s friends and whereabouts and having rules to regulate after-school activities. Bivariate models show that parents’ perceptions of neighborhood quality are differentially related to each aspect of parental monitoring, but these relationships are accounted for by child/family characteristics. Collective efficacy, however, remains positively tied to both aspects of parental monitoring. Social organization is also more strongly associated with parental monitoring than neighborhood structure. The policy implications of these findings for youth are discussed.
General strain theory is an established criminological theory. Although the theory has been examined by many, the propositions of mediating effects through negative emotions, lower social control, and criminogenic social learning environment are understudied. In addition, previous studies that touched on these mechanisms were limited to cross-sectional data or on samples from Western countries, mostly the United States. Consequently, proper casual relationships and possible cultural influences are ignored. The present study used a panel sample of youths from Taiwan to examine the three pathways from strains to deviance. We found that strains, school and family related, were related to deviance, and these strains increased student deviance by increasing depressive level, lowering school engagement, and increasing delinquent peer associations. Furthermore, we also found some complex relationships between these mediating factors, strains, and deviance. Some limitations were also discussed.
The intergenerational transmission of political orientations has been the topic of considerable research over the past few decades, but much of the evidence remains limited to two-party systems. In this study, we use data from the first wave of the Parent–Child Socialization Study conducted among 3,426 adolescents and their parents in the Flemish region of Belgium. Even in this multiparty system, we find a strong correspondence between voting intentions of parents and children, enhanced by the degree of politicization within the family. Talking about politics among parents and children has a significant positive effect on parent–child party correspondence, and more particularly political discussion with one’s father seems to have a stronger effect on father–child party correspondence than discussion with one’s mother does on mother–child correspondence.
This study assesses the effects of attachment to paternal grandparents on Chinese adolescent adjustment in the domains of school bonding, peer associations, and self-views, and whether such effects may differ for adolescent boys and girls. Drawing on survey responses of 2,117 middle school students from Fuzhou City, China, regression analyses yield results quite consistent with the hypotheses. Chinese adolescents who indicate that they are close to their paternal grandparents tend to report higher levels of bonding to school, association with achievement-oriented peers, and more positive self-evaluation, and these effects are independent of adolescent closeness with their parents and other putative common correlates. Furthermore, attachment to paternal grandparents exerts stronger effects on adolescent boys than girls, especially in the domains of school bonding and peer associations. These results are discussed in light of attachment theory, grandparent support in Chinese setting, and policy implications.
Youth initiated mentoring (YIM) is an innovative approach to mentoring being implemented by the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program in which youth identify and select their mentors. There is great interest in this approach; however, there has been little study of YIM or its implementation in ChalleNGe. Retrospective in-depth qualitative interviews with former ChalleNGe participants (n = 30) were conducted to gain a descriptive understanding of the mentor selection process, the role these relationships played in participants’ experiences of the ChalleNGe program and in their lives more generally, and the nature and strength of these connections. Findings indicate that youth were able to successfully enlist the participation of mentors and YIM yielded enduring and emotionally supportive relationships. That the adults came from within their communities was viewed by these participants as having expedited the development of feelings of trust and contributed to the relevancy and meaningfulness of the guidance and advice offered.
This study evaluates the Youth Development Program (YDP), a component of the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). We examine whether the YDP reduced dropout rates among youth in secondary schools in seven school districts in the impoverished Mississippi River Delta in southeast Arkansas. Initially, the program seems to have an impact. Students who participate in the program are less likely to drop out of school than students in a comparison group. However, when other factors are taken into consideration, such as whether the student was "over-age" for their grade (and thus likely had been "held back"), the effect that program participation had on the likelihood of dropping out disappears. In short, we find that when controlling for other factors, no statistically significant relationship exists between program participation and dropout rates. We discuss the implications of the WIA’s YDP failure and school retention programs, more broadly.
The current study used a qualitative, phenomenological approach to investigate the health information–seeking practices of African American young men who have sex with men (AAYMSM). Forty-two self-identified AAYMSM, aged 18 to 21, residing in a Southeastern U.S. city participated in a qualitative focus group or face-to-face interview to examine their access to health information, current and preferred sources and types of health information, and recommendations for improving the delivery of health information to AAYMSM. Participants reported accessing health information from a complex network of sources, including peers, health care professionals, parents, and the Internet. Most consulted these sources to access information about the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. In addition, participants provided recommendations to improve delivery of health information and identified parents and the Internet as preferred sources of health information. This research highlights the importance of developing health information, specifically for AAYMSM.
Community contexts are important ecological settings related to problem behavior and positive youth development (PYD). While substantial work has focused on neighborhood disadvantage, the current study explores the role of community assets, specifically linkages to important institutional resources and people in those settings. These concepts are explored in a cross-sectional sample of African American and White, male and female adolescent offenders with an eye toward approaches to reducing further delinquency. The findings of confirmatory factor and path analyses demonstrate that personal relationships and linkages to important community resources including recreational, school, faith-based, extended-family, and work-related sources, are related not only to better family functioning but also to positive peer relations and indirectly to youth self-reliance. This study highlights the potential role of community networks and support in the lives of youthful offenders and their families, a population in need of more research identifying potential positive pathways of development.
This exploratory study was designed to examine the beliefs of youth users of alcohol and marijuana about the connections between their substance use and dating violence perpetration. Eighteen youth (ages 14-20 years old), who were primarily of Black or Hispanic race/ethnicity, participated in in-depth interviews about times when they had perpetrated dating violence. They were asked to reflect on whether and how they felt that alcohol and/or marijuana may have contributed. Responses coalesced around four major themes, which were that users believed that (a) Alcohol escalates minor conflict; (b) Alcohol exacerbates feelings of irritation and anger; (c) Marijuana reduces feelings of irritation and anger; and (d) Substances are used to cope with conflict-related stress. We conclude that momentary event-level research that investigates the immediate influence of alcohol and marijuana use on dating violence perpetration is needed and that dating violence prevention interventions should consider addressing substance use and substance-aggression expectancies.
Despite the emerging phenomenon of sexting, scientific investigation with criminological perspectives has been limited. Utilizing data collected from 1,612 randomly selected youth in South Korea, this study begins the investigation into which criminological theory best explains sexting behaviors. Theories considered include self-control, social control, and social learning theories. Some variables of each of those theories were tested. Findings showed that peer pressure was the most important factor for two types of sexting behaviors (sexting own picture/video and sexting others’ picture/video), and that prior delinquency and positive attitude toward sexting were also significantly and positively related to both types of sexting behaviors. But social control was negatively related to only the second type of sexting behavior, and self-control was not related to both types of behaviors. As sexting has only recently begun to be studied, we recommend that future research studies examine the phenomena within the framework of social learning theory.
This study examined the interaction effects between Hong Kong adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit online materials (SEOM) and individual, family, peer, and cultural factors on their beliefs about gender role equality and body-centered sexuality. Based on a survey design with a sample of 503 high school students in Hong Kong, the results indicated that adolescents’ frequency of accessing SEOM, their intrapersonal reactions to SEOM, their communication with parents about sexuality, their susceptibility to peer pressure, and their acceptance of cultural values regarding sex roles work jointly to affect their conceptions of gender and sexuality, although the main and interaction effects differ across variables. The results partially supported the hypotheses that individual responses to SEOM and relationships with parents and peers with regard to sexuality interact with SEOM exposure in affecting the outcomes. The study provided evidence for the adoption of an ecological perspective to guide the provision of sexuality education.
Homelessness is purportedly a predictor of property offending and property victimization, yet published studies examining this occurrence are scarce. This systematic review collates, summarizes, and appraises published studies reporting the rates of perpetration of property offenses and property victimization, and associations between homelessness and these outcomes. A comprehensive search of psychology, sociology, and health electronic databases, including PsycINFO and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) was conducted. Search terms included "homeless*," "adol*," "youth*," "offend*," "victimization," and variations to the terms "offending" and "victimization." Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. Effect sizes could be calculated for five reviewed studies. Findings suggested homeless youth engage commonly in either theft or property damage. Burglary and having personal property damaged were the most commonly reported victimization experiences. Several studies reported associations between homelessness and property offenses. Research investigating situational antecedents that contribute to the likelihood of property offenses and property victimization in homeless youth is required.
This study investigates self-harm among young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people. Using qualitative virtual methods, we examined online forums to explore young LGBT people’s cybertalk about emotional distress and self-harming. We investigated how youth explained the relationship between self-harm and sexuality and gender. We found that LGBT youth may articulate contradictory, ambiguous, and multiple accounts of the relationship but there were three strong explanations: (a) self-harm was because of homophobia and transphobia; (b) self-harm was due to self-hatred, fear, and shame; (c) self-harm was emphatically not related to sexuality or gender. There was evidence of youth negotiating LGBT identities, managing homophobia, resisting pathologization, and explaining self-harm as a way of coping.
This study examines oppositional culture among immigrant and majority adolescents in the Netherlands. Oppositional culture theory expects that immigrant adolescents would uphold positive attitudes towards education. The social exclusion theory predicts instead that immigrant adolescents develop an oppositional culture, particularly in ethnically concentrated schools. To test these ideas, we make use of one of the first large-scale studies on oppositional culture in the Netherlands, and in Europe more generally. Applying multilevel analyses to a survey across 340 schools among 11,215 adolescents aged 11 to 19, we find no clear evidence that immigrant adolescents support oppositional culture either more or less than majority adolescents. Results however showed that oppositional culture differs across schools and that in more ethnically concentrated schools, there is a higher tendency for ethnic minority adolescents to skip classes. Furthermore, oppositional culture finds more support among adolescents who are in a higher grade, male, and who attend a lower education track.
This study examined the relationships between youth and parental sensation-seeking, peer influence, parental monitoring and youth risk involvement in adolescence using structural equation modeling. Beginning in Grade 6, longitudinal data were collected from 543 students over 3 years. Youth sensation-seeking in Grade 6 contributed to risk involvement in early adolescence (Grades 6 and 7) indirectly through increased peer risk influence and decreased parental monitoring but did not have a direct contribution. It contributed directly and indirectly to risk involvement in middle adolescence (Grades 8 and 9). Parent sensation-seeking at baseline was positively associated with peer risk influence and negatively associated with parental monitoring; it had no direct effect on adolescent risk involvement. Parental monitoring buffers negative peer influence on adolescent risk involvement. Results highlight the need for intervention efforts to provide normative feedback about adolescent risky behaviors and to vary among families in which parents and/or youth have high sensation-seeking propensities.
Social schemas can influence the perception and recollection of others’ behavior and may create biases in the reporting of social events. This study investigated young adolescents’ (N = 317) gender-, ethnicity-, and popularity-based social schemas of overtly and relationally aggressive behavior. Results indicated that participants associated overt aggression with being male and African American and relational aggression with being female. In addition, participants associated all types of aggression with high perceived popularity. The strength of endorsement of several subscales differed significantly as a function of raters’ gender and ethnicity. Findings highlight the importance of understanding how aggression-related social schemas may influence adolescents’ reporting of peer behaviors.
School-based victimization is associated with poorer developmental, academic, and health outcomes. This meta-analytic review compared the mean levels of school-based victimization experienced by sexual minority youth to those of heterosexual youth, and examined moderators of this difference. Results from 18 independent studies (N = 56,752 participants) suggest that sexual minority youth experience moderately higher levels of school-based victimization compared to heterosexual youth (d = 0.33). This effect varied by two study characteristics: the average effect size increased over time and was larger in studies that had a greater proportion of male participants. Results highlight the need for future research on school-based victimization to include measures of sexual orientation and for interventions to include a component that addresses sexual orientation.
Many of today’s youth feel disconnected from their local communities. At the same time, most of them are regularly connected to the Internet and other digital media to gather information and communicate with their peers. This study conducts a qualitative textual analysis of 14 scholastic and nonscholastic youth media websites to derive five emergent themes related to connecting youth and local communities. While some content examined addressed specific community concerns, the strongest current value of these websites is that they serve as a source of diverse peer support and self-expression for local teens as they collectively experience the joys and struggles of adolescence. These sites also promote attachment to local schools, an important community node and social ecology for teens.
The goals were to develop a valid version of the Multicultural Latin American Inventory of Anger Expression and Hostility (ML-STAXI) for middle school Mexican youth (ML-STAXI-MS) and to test a new Questionnaire about Anger Expression with Physical Aggression (QAEPA). Five hundred and four adolescents (258 males, 246 females); (Mage = 13.75, SD = 1.01) from a public school in Mexico City completed both instruments. Exploratory factor analysis yielded seven factors for the ML-STAXI-MS. Four were identical (desire to express anger physically and verbally, angry feelings, temperament, and reaction) to those obtained in other Mexican samples, and three factors (anger-out and anger control-in and -out) were similar to other studies with the ML-STAXI. No anger-in factor was found. Alpha reliabilities ranged from .75 to .91. The QAEPA yielded a 4-item factor (α = .72) of physical aggressive anger expression (e.g., hitting).
The current study examined associations among parenting practices, adolescents’ self-esteem and dating identity exploration, and adolescents’ sexual behaviors. Participants were 680 African American and European American sexually experienced adolescents attending public high schools in the southeast. Results indicated that risky sexual behavior was associated positively with parental psychological control, and negatively with self-esteem and dating identity exploration. Parental support positively predicted self-esteem and dating identity exploration; psychological control also showed a positive association with dating identity exploration. Contrary to expectation, neither self-esteem nor dating identity exploration mediated associations between parenting and risky sexual behavior; moderation tests showed few differences. However, dating identity exploration showed potential to serve as a protective factor for higher risk groups (i.e., males, African Americans), and psychological control appeared particularly detrimental for older adolescents. Finally, youth from stepfamilies showed associations among the variables that differed from youth living in single-parent and two-parent biological/adoptive families.
There are few areas of school organization that reflect more dissatisfaction than how to structure the education of adolescents in the middle grades. This study uses multilevel models on nationally representative data provided by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to investigate the relationship between schools’ middle-level grade span and students’ math achievement. Classroom quality was considered as an explanation for any relationships between grade span and achievement. Also examined was whether gender and family structure moderated this relationship. Results indicate that there is no generalizable relationship between grade span configuration and math achievement, but that measures of classroom quality predicted math achievement. The results should give reflective pause to reformers considering whole-scale changes to the ways in which grade spans are organized and sharpen the policy focus on classroom quality.
Within the adolescent risk behavior literature, questions remain about relationships among behaviors in early adolescence, gender, context, and negative social and health outcomes. Additionally, little attention has focused on trajectories of adolescent risk behavior among impoverished African American youth. Using data from the Mobile Youth Survey, a multiple cohort longitudinal study of adolescents living in impoverished neighborhoods, we have reduced gaps in the literature by identifying trajectories of alcohol use for males and females separately as a function of early initiation of alcohol use. Our findings indicate that early initiation of alcohol use predicts escalating use at least through age 17. Results are especially notable for females who begin drinking before age 12: They drink significantly more than any other group at age 12 and their trajectory remains the highest through age 17. Our findings about the escalation of drinking have implications for efforts to improve the lives of impoverished adolescents.
Despite recent concerns over youthful problem gambling, few gambling studies have looked into Asian adolescent populations. This study of a stratified, random sample of high school students in Hong Kong is designed to estimate the prevalence of gambling pathology among Chinese adolescents and to examine the relationships between social strain, self-control and gambling pathology. Based on the DSM-IV-J gambling screen, the rates of probable pathological gambling and at-risk gambling in this sample are 1.1% and 2.4%, respectively. Social strain and low self-control are predictive of gambling pathology, and a higher level of self-control can dilute the adverse effect of social strain on gambling pathology. These findings suggest that besides the social control, support and learning mechanisms often emphasized in juvenile gambling research, a greater understanding of the role that social strain plays and how it interacts with personality traits such as self-control may be informative in the management of gambling-related addictions in adolescents.
This study explored the perceptions of resilience and coping among homeless young adults, a focus that differs from previous research by considering the unconventional resilience and coping of this high-risk population. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with 45 homeless young adults. Individual interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by coders using an iterative process of content analysis. Findings revealed four primary themes that highlight perceptions of resiliency and coping, including individual strengths, positive life perspective, external social supports, and individual coping strategies. Implications for professionals working with this population suggest that developing and strengthening programs tailored to utilize homeless young adults’ resiliency may be beneficial. Recognizing the strengths and resilience that homeless young adults are capable of, and incorporating a strength-based perspective to empower these young adults, may encourage positive choices and increase the likelihood of transitioning out of homelessness.
This study examined whether promotive factors (future expectations, family warmth, school attachment, and neighborhood cohesion) moderated relationships between community violence exposure and youth delinquency. Analyses were conducted using N = 2,980 sixth to eighth graders (Mage = 12.48; 41.1% males) from a racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse sample. After controlling for demographic factors, delinquency was positively associated with community violence exposure and inversely associated with each of the promotive factors. When interaction effects between all promotive factors and community violence exposure were examined simultaneously, only future expectations moderated the relationship between community violence exposure and delinquency. Specifically, community violence exposure had a weaker association with delinquency for youth reporting high versus low levels of future expectations. Results indicate that while promotive factors from family, school, and neighborhood domains are related to lower rates of delinquency, only future expectations served as a protective factor that specifically buffered youth from the risk effects of community violence exposure.
Schools today are more frequently using punitive discipline practices to control student behavior, despite the greater effectiveness of community-building techniques on compliance that are based on restorative justice principles found in the criminal justice system. Prior research testing the racial threat hypothesis has found that the racial composition of schools is associated with the use of more punitive and less reparative approaches to discipline, just as it has been associated with criminal justice harshness. However, no research to date has assessed the possibility that school-level racial composition may affect the likelihood that specific restorative justice techniques, which are the most commonly used alternative, will be implemented. This study is the first to test the racial threat perspective in relation to use of the restorative practices student conferences, peer mediation, restitution, and community service. Using a national random sample in logistic regression analyses, we find that schools with proportionally more Black students are less likely to use such techniques when responding to student behavior. This finding has several troubling implications for minority students in particular and for education as a whole.
Although previous research documents high rates of child abuse, street victimization, and substance use among homeless youth, few studies have investigated these three constructs simultaneously, and thus little is known about how various forms of victimization are uniquely associated with substance use among this population. The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship among child sexual and physical abuse, street victimization, and partner violence with substance use among 172 homeless young adults. Path analysis results revealed that males and those who reported parental drug problems were significantly more likely to have higher rates of substance use. Those who suffered more childhood physical and sexual abuse and those who experienced more types of relationship violence were more likely to report greater frequency of substance use. The intersection of various forms of victimization with substance use may have important implications for service providers working with this population.
Parents play an important role in influencing adolescent health behaviors and parenting practices may be an important pathway through which social disadvantage influences adolescent health behaviors that can persist into adulthood. This analysis uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine how parenting practices mediate the association between family socioeconomic disadvantage, measured as low parent education and family welfare/poverty status, and physical activity in adolescence and young adulthood for males and females. Results show that levels of parental control do not differ by family disadvantage. However, disadvantaged parents engage in lower levels of activities and communication with their children compared with nondisadvantaged parents. These behaviors serve to mediate the negative association between disadvantage and physical activity in adolescence, and are associated with physical activity in adulthood. Parenting is an important pathway through which disadvantage influences physical activity in adolescence and the transition to adulthood.
Parenting style has been extensively analyzed as a contributor to juvenile delinquency in the criminological literature, but no research to date has assessed the prevalence of parenting style changes during adolescence or the influence of such parenting style changes on juvenile delinquency. Drawing from the life course theory, the results show that parenting style transitions are common across the first and third waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997. Furthermore, specific parenting style shifts are associated with changes in juvenile delinquency, most notably the shifts characterized by a decrease in responsiveness or an increase or decrease in demandingness. Last, changes in maternal attachment associated with parenting style changes partially mediate the effect of such transitions on delinquent outcomes.
Prior research suggests that adolescent girls may react more negatively to online sexual content than boys. This study explored the qualitative experiences of adolescent girls who encountered bothersome or disturbing sexual content online. Fourteen girls (aged 15-17 years) were interviewed online about the context in which they saw bothersome sexual material and the reasons for their negative reactions. Results showed that participants felt bothered while using the Internet at home and in public, while engaging in online exploration, information seeking, or chatting with new acquaintances. Participants were also bothered when the sexual content portrayed sex of an extreme nature, seemed inappropriate for their age, broke norms for establishing romantic relationships, or threatened their home life. The impact of these experiences is discussed, especially in light of the participants’ statements that they did not tell their parents or guardians about their experiences with bothersome online content.
There are strong reasons to assume that early onset of puberty accelerates coital debut among adolescent girls. Although many studies support this assumption, evidence regarding the putative causal processes is limited and inconclusive. In this research, longitudinal data from the 1986 Northern Finland Birth Cohort Study (N = 2,596) were used to address three theoretical explanations: (a) a direct effect premised on biological processes, (b) a mediated path based on social psychological processes, and (c) a spurious effect derived from the evolutionary theory of socialization. In support of the social psychological pathway, the negative association between age at menarche and coital status at age 15 was almost fully mediated by differential social exposure—an empirical construct measuring involvement in high-risk social contexts.
Successful community partnerships for youth are based on the premise that reciprocity exists between all parties, but to what extent is equal power actually present? The current investigation examines the benefits and contributions associated with partnerships from community partners’ perspectives. Respondents from 15 different Connect to Protect® coalitions initiated by the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions were interviewed at the onset of their partnerships. Community partners asserted that their contributions to partnerships are more varied than researchers’, yet they perceived that researchers acquire more kinds of benefits. Findings indicate nuances regarding reciprocity and power inequities between partners. Community partners’ insights have implications for defining best practices within partnerships that benefit youth.
This study focuses on the school motivation of LGB (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) students in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, a fairly LGB-friendly country. The authors hypothesize that LGB students in Flemish secondary schools are less motivated for school than heterosexual students because they experience less sense of school belonging and more discrimination. In addition, the authors investigate minority-specific factors that could influence the school motivation of LGB students. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses are performed on data from 1,745 secondary school students. The impact of minority stressors on the school motivation of LGB students is examined with hierarchical multiple regression analyses on data from 162 LGB students. Both analyses show that lesbian girls are less motivated to perform in school, but sense of belonging, perceived discrimination, and minority stressors do not explain this finding. Alternative explanations for these results and implications for further research are discussed.
Sociopolitical control (SPC) has been identified as a critical component of empowerment, resilience and civic development among young people. Sociopolitical control has been assessed according to a two dimensional model: (1) leadership competence and (2) policy control. Very little is known, however, about heterogeneity of perceptions of SPC, how this heterogeneity is distributed across subpopulations, and how it may affect relationships between SPC and other variables. This study used a person-centered approach, latent class cluster analysis, to test items on a SPC scale for youth. Participants were high school students (n = 334) in the Northeastern United States. Four distinct groups of participants emerged: those with (1) exceptional SPC, (2) elevated SPC, (3) limited SPC, and (4) diminished policy control. Group differences were observed on a set of relevant variables including perceived school importance, tobacco use, bullying behaviors, and sense of community. Implications are discussed for policy, practice and future research.
Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR)—in which young people conduct research aimed at improving problems in their schools and communities—is increasing in public health, youth development, and education. We report on the development and psychometric testing of the YPAR Process Template (YPT)—to assess the quality of key YPAR processes in a systematic, flexible manner. Pairs of raters independently coded 40 live and videotaped observations. All scales achieved good to excellent interrater reliability with the exception of the power sharing over major decisions scale, which had interrater reliability in the acceptable range. This instrument can be useful for a range of settings practicing YPAR and similar youth empowerment programs. We further report findings generated by YPT assessments that demonstrate that power sharing was a robust predictor of observed youth engagement in the YPAR classes after controlling for the classes’ baseline level of engagement.
Relationship dynamics develop early in life and are influenced by social environments. STI/HIV prevention programs need to consider romantic relationship dynamics that contribute to sexual health. The aim of this study was to examine monogamous patterns, commitment, and trust in African American adolescent romantic relationships. The authors also focused on the differences in these dynamics between and within gender. The way that such dynamics interplay in romantic relationships has the potential to influence STI/HIV acquisition risk. In-depth interviews were conducted with 28 African American adolescents aged 14 to 21 living in San Francisco. Our results discuss data related to monogamous behaviors, expectations, and values; trust and respect in romantic relationships; commitment to romantic relationships; and outcomes of mismatched relationship expectations. Incorporating gender-specific romantic relationships dynamics can enhance the effectiveness of prevention programs.
Scholars interested in delinquency have focused much attention on the influence of parent and peer relationships. Prior research has assumed that parents control delinquency because they value convention, whereas peers promote delinquency because they value and model nonconvention. We argue that it is important to assess the normative and behavioral orientations of those to whom adolescents feel close to accurately model how relationships operate. Drawing on social control, social learning, and a prominent developmental perspective, we derive and test alternative hypotheses about the manner in which attachments to significant others and the normative and behavioral orientations of these others operate either independently or in tandem to influence delinquency. Empirical findings based on tobit regressions and National Youth Survey (NYS) data suggest that social learning theory is best equipped to explain peer influence; however, the developmental perspective appears more applicable to parent influence.
While social movement research employs "tactical repertoire" to emphasize protest tactics directed at the state, literature on youth activism globally indicates that young people do politics outside the realm of formal political spheres. Youth activism on body politics in Latin America offers evidence that enhances conceptual tools intended for understanding how young people make claims and toward whom they make them. This article takes young activists’ strategies as its point of departure through a study that explored how young people perceived their activism to advance sexual health in Ecuador and Peru. Young activists employed a range of interconnected strategies that went beyond protests directed at the state, including responding to adult allies, carrying out social advocacy among youth, building organizations, carrying out political advocacy, and developing themselves as activists. Strategies were shaped by the degree to which young activists negotiated alternative notions of "youth" with different actors.
The deployment of a family member can be very distressing for military children, but it also can supply opportunities for growth. This study addresses calls for research on the changes, challenges, and opportunities facing youth during a family member’s tour of duty. It uses the relational turbulence model to frame research questions about how children experience a family member’s deployment. Participants were 33 military youth ranging from 10 to 13 years of age who completed one-on-one, semistructured interviews. They reported several changes to family life (Research Question 1), challenges of deployment (Research Question 2), and opportunities of deployment (Research Question 3). The results contribute to the literature by advancing theory, by providing insight into children’s experiences in their own words, and by suggesting practical guidelines for helping youth navigate a family member’s deployment.
Despite existing research on the contribution of social context and religiosity to adolescent behavioral outcomes, few studies have attempted to explore this topic among Muslim adolescents in non-Western settings, looking at both positive and negative outcomes. In response to this gap, the current study explored the effects of three dimensions of developmental assets (positive parenting, community support, and religiosity) on risk, prosocial, and thriving behaviors among Muslim adolescents (N = 895) from Malaysia. Hierarchical regression results revealed positive parenting as the greatest protective factor against risk behavior, religiosity as the most significant promotive factor of prosocial behaviors, and community support as the greatest contributor to adolescent thriving. In the final model, unique effects varied by outcome. The findings support the importance and universality of multiple levels of developmental assets for youth development, and highlight the need to better understand their interaction in non-Western cultural contexts.
The long touted athlete advantage in college enrollment has been tempered by assertions that this advantage is actually due to characteristics that precede participation. Moreover, it remains unclear whether the benefits of sports extend into contemporary times and apply equally to female and racial minority athletes. This study uses three nationally representative longitudinal data sets of students who were 10th graders in 1980, 1990, and 2002. We find that high school sports participation was positively associated with college enrollment, even with the utilization of propensity score modeling, for White boys and girls, Black boys, and Latino boys and girls during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The most important gender and race differences include Black female athletes’ college-going disadvantage in the 1980s and 1990s, and girls’ persistently lower rates of high school sports participation than boys’.
Participation in Organized Activities (OA) is associated with positive behavioral and developmental outcomes in children. However, less is known about how particular aspects of participation affect the academic achievement of high school students from different social class positions. Using the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, this study examines the math achievement gains from organized activity participation for advantaged and disadvantaged youths. Findings indicate that the relationship between OA and achievement does indeed vary by social class. Regardless of the type of OA, less advantaged high school students see substantial academic improvements from time in OA while their more advantaged peers do not. These findings suggest that participation in organized activities is a form of resource compensation that helps to reduce the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged youths, even at the end of the K-12 schooling process.
This study used latent class analysis to examine typologies of peer conformity in a community sample of middle school students. Students responded to 31 items assessing diverse facets of conformity dispositions. The most parsimonious model produced three qualitatively distinct classes that differed on the basis of conformity to recreational activities, deviant behaviors, style conformity, and social comparison. Gender comparisons suggested relatively stable class proportions for males and females but also significant parameter differences in tests of measurement invariance for latent class indicators. Multinomial logistic regression models predicting class membership from auxiliary covariates and psychosocial risk indicated that compared to mild conformists deviance conforming youth were more likely to be White, have low self-esteem, refrain from using adaptive coping skills, and be more socially anxious. Socially conforming youth were more likely to be male, White, and have low self-esteem. Findings are discussed with regard to classic definitions of conformity and its role as a developmental phenomenon.
Youth today spend years moving in and out of different education and employment statuses until they settle into stable employment. This 14-year Canadian longitudinal study reveals how month-to-month fluctuations in employment and educational statuses from age 19 to 25 predict employment success at age 32. Early employment instability was linked to lower income at age 32 and, among men, to lower occupational status and career satisfaction. However, for those who had made at least one career change, employment fluctuation had a positive effect on income and career satisfaction. Greater fluctuation in educational status was associated with higher occupational status at age 32. In general, labor market instability in the early 20s might best be described as floundering, while educational status changes more often reflect exploring.
The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of depressive symptoms among adolescents using concepts drawn from two theoretical models that underlie popular youth-focused programs. Specifically, we assessed the degree to which family-level risk factors increase the likelihood of depressive symptoms, and the degree to which community and/or school-level protective/promotive factors either buffer against risk, or directly lead to lower levels of depressive symptoms. Results indicate that three of the four hypothesized risk factors were associated with elevated levels of depressive symptoms. In addition, the protective/promotive factors had more promotive than protective effects because they were directly related to lower levels of symptoms. Implications for youth-focused programming are discussed.
Dramatic changes occur in abstract reasoning, physical maturation, familial relationships and risk exposure during adolescence. It is probable that delivery of behavioral interventions addressing decision-making during the preadolescent period and later in adolescence would result in different impacts. We evaluated the intervention effects of an HIV prevention program (Bahamian Focus on Older Youth, BFOOY) administered to grade 10 Bahamian youth and parents to target HIV protective and risk behaviors. We also examined the effects of prior exposure to a similar intervention (Focus on Youth in the Caribbean, FOYC) four years earlier. At six months post-intervention, receipt of BFOOY by youth unexposed to FOYC increased HIV knowledge and condom-use skills. Differences based on BFOOY exposure were not present among FOYC-exposed youth, whose knowledge and condom-use skills were already higher than those of unexposed youth. Youth receiving both interventions displayed a carryover effect from FOYC, demonstrating the highest scores six months post-intervention.
The transmission model of religious socialization was tested using a sample of American Jewish parents and adolescents. The authors expected that measures of religiousness among parents would be associated with those among their children. Interaction effects of denominational membership were also tested. Data were collected from a sample of 233 parent–child pairs in 9 Jewish schools in the Midwestern United States. Findings revealed modest support for the transmission model among American Jewish youth and parents. Parents’ religious practices were positively linked to the salience of religion among youth as well as with youth’s religious practices. No other correlations emerged between parents’ and youth’s behaviors. No interactions with denominational membership were found; however, parents’ membership in the Orthodox denomination was positively correlated with the salience of religion among youth. These findings suggest that context plays an important role in the religious socialization of Jewish youth. Broader implications for these findings are discussed.
This article uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to examine the relationship between running away from home between the ages of 12 and 14 and dropping from high school among youth. Propensity score matching was conducted in estimating the effect of running away on high school dropout while controlling for confounding factors, such as familial instability and socioemotional health risks. The findings suggest that having runaway-homeless episodes have a detrimental effect on academic achievement.
With information supplied by a large (n = 3393) sample of high school students from Toronto, this paper tests the assumption that three forms of leisure activity—peer, risky, and self-improving leisure—have a relatively independent impact upon patterns of offending and victimization. Although we find significant support for this proposition, we also find that traditional criminal motivations are still strongly related to criminal incidents, particularly offending behavior. The positive association between leisure and victimization includes, counter intuitively, the sort of self-improving leisure that might have been expected to reduce the risk of victimization. We discuss our findings in terms of the relationship between traditional motivational explanations of crime and newer, more situational ones.
This study examines youth-led decision making (YLDM) among groups of youth who are providers or recipients of community development grants. Focus groups, interviews, and participant observation with 14- to 20-year-olds and supporting adults showed youth have a preference for consensus-based decisions. Youth used due process to reach decisions while valuing differing viewpoints. Adults created appropriate spaces and guided without controlling. Youth directly involved in the YLDM process experienced the greatest and most immediate benefit though other youth, and the community as a whole also felt positive impacts over time. The study considers the type of supports required for young people to make meaningful decisions and points to the capacity of youth, and the potential of YLDM, for community development.
In the current study, 45 girls and 41 boys participated in focus groups following a program designed to teach them about social justice. The children articulated the discrepancy between their own gender identity and gender role stereotypes and discussed potential problems with conforming to gender role expectations as well as consequences of nonconformity. They articulated the ways in which gender identity is complex and they described the importance of choice and authenticity. Based on these findings, we present a model of how children’s gender identity develops in relationship to experiences of gender prejudice. In particular, we highlight how children act and react to gender role socialization as part of a dynamic negotiation process. Throughout the current article we strive to highlight the need for an alternative in the gender conformity process for children, with children in the position of power regarding their own gender identity development.
The present article is drawn from a year-long ethnographic study of adolescents’ uses of information and communication technologies (ICT) and their perceptions of themselves and their uses in multiple contexts. Examining three cases, the author shows how ICT provided participants with powerful opportunities to develop strong self-efficacy beliefs. Considering their beliefs and actions more broadly, the author also shows how factors such as individual interests and adult control were instrumental in shaping relationships between self-efficacy and ICT use and complicate the common perception that ICT, in and of itself, is inherently motivating for youth. Emphasizing the significance of looking beyond particular contexts, task, and/or domains of activity, which is uncommon in studies of ICT use and self-efficacy development, the author discusses the value and implications of the self-efficacy beliefs that young people can develop through ICT use.
This article presents findings from an interpretive study that sought to understand how organized sport at the community level influences sibling relationships and interactions. The meanings of the participants’ sport involvement, in relation to their siblings’, was also examined using a constructivist approach to grounded theory. Nineteen youth (9 boys and 10 girls) from 7 different families living in a rural community in Canada participated in the study. The findings call attention to the significance of organized youth sport to enhance opportunities to spend time together, to shape perceptions of fairness and equality, and the implications that occur when living with a star athlete. Emphasis is placed on the contradictory nature of organized youth sport to strengthen and challenge sibling relationships as well as the potential of sibling dynamics to alter the nature of the participation experiences.
This article reports on a qualitative study of youth interviews representing different types of other-oriented purpose. In order to better understand youth contribution, differences in the directness of responses to community needs were examined in youth who demonstrated other-oriented purpose. Implicit theories about the world and other people were investigated as potential determinants of these different types. First, results supported a relation between incremental world theories and indirect-response other-oriented purposes. Second, results showed that participants with direct-response other-oriented purposes displayed evidence of either entity or incremental theories. Agency and compassion are suggested as explanations for why implicit theories functioned differently between the identified types of other-oriented purpose.
Siblings have been shown to influence youth substance use and violent behavior. However, limited research has examined sibling-influences on sexual activity, particularly among urban Black youth. The current qualitative research was an exploratory study to describe discussions among siblings about sex and sexual health. Individual interviews were conducted with 15 Black youth (7 male, 8 female) from New York City ages 16 to 19 years. Participants were recruited from community agencies serving low income youth. Results indicated that youth had discussions about sex with their siblings. Discussions among siblings included information about sex, conversations about sexual activities and advice about sexual relationships. Some gender differences were observed. Males reported feeling pressure from their male siblings to be engaged in sexual activity. Female youth discussed hearing HIV/AIDS prevention messages from their siblings. Findings highlight the important role that siblings may play in socializing urban Black youth regarding sexuality, sexual health, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
This article presents findings from a qualitative evaluation of an HIV/STI (sexually transmitted infection) prevention intervention for urban African American youth (Project ÒRÉ), which was delivered to groups of 3 to 8 adolescents who were members of the same friendship network. Sixteen focus groups (N = 63) were conducted with youth following their participation in the intervention. Results demonstrate high acceptability of the intervention. Both males and females revealed multiple benefits of attending the intervention with friends including feeling more comfortable, experiencing general satisfaction with the program, experiencing greater ease in talking and expressing self, being able to reveal sensitive information, and being able to relate to each other’s experiences. Additional themes were presented only by males including feeling a sense of cohesion, the ability to protect each other from HIV/STIs in the future, and feeling safe. These results suggest that delivering HIV/STI and other prevention interventions within adolescents’ friendship networks may offer unique benefits not found with traditional programs that include random groupings of youth who are not familiar with each other.
This mixed-methods longitudinal project investigates the association between student perceptions of their schools and themselves. Findings from the first two waves of data analysis with 894 middle and high school students in a midsized Great Lakes city reveal similarities and differences between the grade levels (7th-10th) and their perceptions of their schools. Although 7th-grade students enter middle school with the most positive feelings about their schools, they lose this feeling of euphoria by the end of their academic year. In contrast, the 10th-grade females are the most positive of all students, recognizing school characteristics which assist with their self-efficacy. Results from quantitative analyses indicate that student attitudes toward school and a sense of school connectedness are linked to both self-esteem and academic self-efficacy.
Concepts of choice are often drawn upon within sexual health promotion discourses to encourage young people to take "responsibility" for and promote their own sexual health and reproductive control. A systematic literature search using predefined inclusion criteria identified peer-reviewed articles focusing on sexual health interventions for young people. Discourse analysis was used to interrogate how concepts of choice were articulated or inferred within the interventions. Of the eligible studies (n = 30), 16 were based on theories of behavioral change, suggesting a linear pathway between choice and improvements in sexual health. Studies that accounted for contextual factors were a minority (n = 6). Overall, study reports offered a limited account of the "situatedness" of young people’s opportunities to exercise choice. This reliance had a tendency to position young people as passive recipients of interventions which seemed to undermine the more active notion of "making choices" presented within these frameworks.
The transition to adulthood has received the attention of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers in recent years. For some, the transition is an extended period during which commitments to adulthood institutions are delayed, termed emerging adulthood. For others, the transition is brief and commitments to adulthood institutions begin without delay, termed accelerated adulthood. Institutions play an important role in accumulating advantages or disadvantages for individuals, influencing the likelihood of an emerging or accelerated adulthood. This article introduces an institutional framework that explores the link between institutional forces and individual outcomes. This article proposes the concept, institutional constellation, which is the specific set of institutions operating in an individual’s life, and their lived experience of/within that institutional constellation. The degree of integration within the institutional constellation and the degree to which the institutional constellation is aligned to dominant social norms influence the resources that will accumulate advantages or disadvantages for an individual.
Factors associated with the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth were qualitatively examined to better understand how these factors are experienced from the youths’ perspectives. Largely recruited from LGBTQ youth groups, 68 youth participated in focus groups (n = 63) or individual interviews (n = 5). The sample included 50% male, 47% female, and 3% transgender participants. Researchers used a consensual methods approach to identify negative and positive factors across 8 domains. Negative factors were associated with families, schools, religious institutions, and community or neighborhood; positive factors were associated with the youth’s own identity development, peer networks, and involvement in the LGBTQ community. These findings suggest a pervasiveness of negative experiences in multiple contexts, and the importance of fostering a positive LGBTQ identity and supportive peer/community networks. Efforts should work towards reducing and eliminating the prejudicial sentiments often present in the institutions and situations that LGBTQ youth encounter.
This article looks at the means through which homeless young women are able to improve their flow of social capital by attaining a sense of belonging and forming positive attachments to supportive people and places. In so doing, they also develop relationships with health and social services and improve their overall physical and mental health through stable and supportive interactions. In working with homeless youth, however, the very concept of social capital must be adapted to appropriately respond both to their unique social needs and to the less traditional means by which they are able to attain it. Here, the authors explore the ways in which homeless young women are forming attachments and thereby accruing social capital outside of the nuclear family unit: through extended family, service providers, peers, and online social networks.
This study examined two social status goals in relation to aggressive and prosocial behaviors as well as attributions for relational aggression among 477 (244 girls) Chinese early adolescents. Findings indicate that, after controlling for each other, the social preference goal was negatively related to self-reported overt aggression, and positively associated with prosocial behaviors as reported by self, peers, and teachers, whereas the popularity goal was not uniquely related to either aggressive or prosocial behaviors. Regarding attributions, adolescents with the popularity goal displayed a tendency to justify relational aggression by not attributing it to the aggressor’s characteristics (e.g., jealousy). In contrast, adolescents with the social preference goal were more likely to attribute relational aggression to the aggressor’s characteristics as well as neutral reasons. Findings of this study highlight the importance of investigating the social cognitive processes of peer status among adolescents.
This study explores how body ideals are discussed among adolescent boys and girls in 5 mixed-gender focus groups (n = 37). The ways in which boys and girls talk about bodies differed clearly within the focus group conversations as well as in the everyday situations described in the interviews. The boys were more concrete in their description of ideal bodies in the focus groups but reported less engagement in everyday body talk. The study demonstrates that self-derogating "fat talk" is normative in the meaning "easy to fall into" but not normative in the meaning "approved of": Fat talk is more or less required in some situations but not really appreciated. Both girls and boys agreed on this description of fat talk among girls. They also agreed that fat talk rarely occurred among boys. It was a general consensus that body issues are more sensitive and problematic for girls than for boys.
With increasing diversity and multiculturalism, there is a greater need to understand ways to foster positive intergroup interactions. In this study, youth ages 14 to 18 from three different regions in the United States (N = 21) were given camera phones and instructed to take pictures of what multiculturalism meant to them and how it played a role in their life. Interviews and focus groups were conducted and transcribed, followed by thematic coding. Generally, youth had ideal views and attitudes about multiculturalism, but they also expressed, to varying degrees, a lack of institutional support (i.e., educational opportunities) that encouraged acquiring knowledge about diversity and multiculturalism. Youth suggested that schools should formally incorporate dialogue about multiculturalism in the school curriculum, as a way to reduce misunderstandings among different groups which in turn may facilitate greater empathy and positive intergroup relationships.
The present work seeks to contribute to studies of cross-cultural risk and resiliency by presenting results from qualitative research with adolescents attending programs for at-risk youth in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. In 1990, Brazil introduced the Child and Adolescent Act (ECA), a significant piece of legislation that has had a direct impact on how at-risk youth are conceptualized both nationally and locally, through programs that target them. Little, however, is known about how youth in Brazil understand risk behaviors, what factors they believe contribute to risk taking or what they believe promotes resiliency. Furthermore, virtually no qualitative information exists on adolescents who are engaged in programs that use ECA as a prioritizing principle. By examining adolescent perspectives on risk and resiliency in such a context, we highlight the cultural differences in how youth negotiate their daily lives and the implications that continued exclusion of youth has on Brazilian society.
Youth are infrequently included in planning the health promotion projects designed to benefit them as many of the factors infringing upon youth’s health and well-being also limit their engagement in community-based public health promotion projects. This article explores youth engagement in 13 coalitions implementing structural changes meant to reduce HIV transmission among adolescents. There was wide variation of youth membership and involvement across coalitions. Using analytic induction, the authors show that youth engagement was associated with the successful completion of structural change efforts. The authors also describe how youth engagement indirectly facilitated coalitions’ success. The authors suggest that youth engagement in planning and conducting structural interventions is itself a valuable structural change.
To better understand how young Alaska Native (Inupiaq) people are creatively responding to the tensions of growing up in a world markedly different from that of their parents and grandparents, the pilot study examined youth-produced digital stories as representations of their everyday lives, values, and identities. Two hundred and seventy-one youth–produced digital stories were examined and assigned descriptive attributes; of these, 31 stories were selected and subjected to a more rigorous coding and a thematic analysis. Findings fall into three main categories: self-representation, sites of achievement, and relationships. Participants’ digital stories overwhelmingly depicted positive self-images that included both codified cultural values and pop cultural images to construct novel forms of cultural identity. The gendered depictions of achievement signal a need for more varied, valued, and accessible avenues for success for boys. Lastly, relationships were prominent in the stories, but there was an absence of young adult role models, particularly men, in the stories.
Our study sought mainly to examine interactions between mothers’ and fathers’ authoritative and authoritarian parenting. A total of 284 adolescents (mean age 13.5) from 2 Singapore schools contributed self-report data on their parents’ parenting and various schooling aspects. Prior to testing for interactions, adolescents with two authoritative parents were found to have greater interest in schooling and mastery goals than those with two authoritarian parents. In addition, fathers’ parenting style contributed unique variance beyond mothers’ for three aspects. Regarding interactions, five emerged, three involving mothers’ and fathers’ authoritative parenting and suggesting that authoritative parenting is particularly amenable to moderation. Overall, the five interactions point to the possibility that fathers’ contributions are obscured if mothers are excluded and that authoritarian parenting can have positive effects in specific instances, although gender also needs to be considered. These results elucidate erstwhile obscured processes when interactions are not taken into account.
During adolescence, individuals start to develop a civic identity that contributes toward defining their civic participation later on in adulthood. In developing their civic identity, adolescents start to reason with the topics of rights, duties, and responsibilities. The aim of this study is to analyze how some Italian adolescents (N = 134) conceive the concepts of rights and duties. Moreover, as some scholars—in reference to so-called individualist-focused cultures—assert that people tend to attach priority to their individual rights within an individualistic worldview and deemphasize duties, the aim is also to empirically identify this "individualization of rights." Results show that adolescents who define rights as "are not limited by others" and as disjointed from the notion of duty tend to prioritize their personal rights (vs. other’s rights) in two rights dilemmas. This effect is partially mediated by the importance attached to egalitarian values.
Erikson (1950) contends that the physical changes associated with puberty serve as a catalyst for adolescents to question childhood identifications and to consolidate these with current self-conceptions, personal ideologies, interpersonal values, and future aspirations. Erikson describes the adolescent identity crisis as the developmental period when identity development becomes salient. For males, pubertal changes have implications for sexual identity development and self-perceptions of masculinity, which are aspects of the identity exploration and integration process that occurs during adolescence. This study is an examination of the impact of age, grade, and physical development on male identity development. A purposive sample of 173 Anglo-American male participants in Grades 6 through 12 completed the Petersen Development Scale and The Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (EOM-EIS) in their homes. Statistical analyses revealed that physical development shared more variability (20% explained) with the identity measure than either age (8.3%) or grade (4.2%). Advanced physical development correlates with lower Foreclosure scores and higher Moratorium and Achievement scores. These findings are consistent with Erikson’s life span theory of psychosocial development.
A multidisciplinary body of literature has established that students’ affective
relationships with teachers are associated with important academic and developmental
outcomes. In this article, we explored late adolescents’ active interpretations of what
we call "being known" in high school. Distinct from a generalized perception
of the school environment, namely, sense of school belonging, the concept of being known
may provide a cohesive and efficient framework for understanding the intersections of
developmental tasks, psychosocial perceptions, and effective teaching. Our focus group
data with adolescents (M = 16.65 years old, N = 77) yielded three
robust findings (a) moving beyond "just teach" teacher relationships; (b)
providing instrumental support; and (c) engaging a benefit-of-the-doubt treatment of
students. We examined each of these key themes to probe how connectedness is created
or undermined through the moment-by-moment experiencing of relational structures
characterized by students’ perceptions of being known by adults in an educational
Using a sample of 982 late adolescents and tracking them throughout young adulthood, this study investigated whether marital attitudes held during the last year of high school were predictive of union transitions to both cohabitation and marriage during young adulthood. Results using both logistic regression and discrete event history models found that marital attitudes did not have significant associations with the transition to cohabitation but did significantly predict the probability of transitioning to marriage during young adulthood. Specifically, having a younger expected age of marriage and placing more importance on marriage at the end of adolescence was associated with an increased likelihood of transitioning to marriage earlier than other young adults.
This article focuses on young people’s attachment to their home district. The purpose of this study was to establish how attached young people aged 17 were to their home district and what factors were involved in young people’s attachment to their home districts. The structure of the young people’s lives was studied on the basis of the developmental tasks belonging to this stage of life and their social capital. The initial hypothesis was that attachment to home district is gender bound and dependent on home municipality. The research material was gathered using questionnaires from three different types of municipality or rural district in eastern Finland, and responses were received from 852 young people in the final year of their basic education, a response rate of 90%. The results of the study show that above 80% of young people were attached to their home district; boys were more attached than girls and young people living in regional center were more attached than young people living in the rural areas. All in all, four of the most important areas in young people’s lives were found to be related to their attachment to the home district: (a) family and roots in the present home district, (b) sense of participation, especially in relation to home municipality, (c) enjoyment of school, and (d) preferring place of residence over choice of profession. The results of the study are important in preventing young people’s exclusion and in contributing to the success of the municipalities.
In Agnew’s general strain theory, repeated strains can generate crime and delinquency by reducing social control and fostering social learning of crime. Using a sample of 615 middle- and high-school students in China, this study examines how social control and social learning variables mediate the effect of repeated strains in school and at home on delinquency. The findings from an integrated model support Agnew’s mediating argument in a non-Western society. Repeated negative treatment by teachers promotes delinquent behavior both through weakened conventional bonds and beliefs and through heightened association with delinquent peers. Repeated negative treatment by parents affects delinquency only through weakened conventional bonds. The prominent role of school experiences in the lives of Chinese adolescents is discussed.
Youth policy is more than a mere response to the actual behavior of children, but it is equally influenced by values and beliefs of policy makers. These values are however rarely made explicit and, therefore, the authors refer to them as "the hidden curriculum" of youth policy. The study investigation explicates this hidden curriculum by empirically analyzing policy reports and interviews with policy makers. The study design is based on an existing theory on the content and structure of values. The results show that Dutch youth policy is most dominantly guided by security values. The results also show that there are differences between the social groups the policy measures target. Policy measures regarding "normal" families are becoming increasingly empowering, for example, by putting an emphasis on the competencies of parents. For families at risk, however, the focus is on control over these families by both professionals and citizens.
The purpose of this study was to describe adolescents’ perceptions of parental influences on their smoking behavior. Thirty-five adolescents, 14 to 18 years old, provided narrative accounts of their smoking histories in semistructured interviews. Most of the participants recognized that their parents played an important role in shaping their experiences with cigarettes. They described several different ways in which parents influenced their smoking behavior. The quality of the adolescents’ relationships with their parents emerged as central to how they experienced the environment in which they lived and the ways in which they interpreted messages about smoking. Studies using a systemic approach to examine the role of parents in smoking acquisition are needed to investigate the aspects of parent–adolescent relationships involved in the effective communication of health messages in general and messages about smoking in particular.
We analyzed whether perceived demands associated with social change and coping with these demands are related to depressive symptoms in German adolescents from the highest versus middle/lowest educational track. Demands reflected an increase in uncertainty (e.g., risk for getting no job). Adolescents on the highest educational track perceived fewer demands in the field of education/work and reported lower levels of depression than adolescents on lower educational tracks. In addition, work-related demands were associated with depressive symptoms only in students on lower educational tracks. Whereas problem-focused coping with these demands was associated with lower depressive symptoms in all students, we found that associations of distancing from demands with depression varied by educational track. We conclude that increased uncertainty associated with social change serves as a stressor that relates to adolescents’ depressive symptoms. However, educational attainment is an important resource for dealing with these stressors.
This study aims to understand Chilean parents’ and adolescents’ conceptions of autonomy and whether they hold different expectations for autonomous behaviors by generation and socioeconomic level. A qualitative approach to data collection was used through separate focus groups of parents and adolescents from different socioeconomic condition. Substantial similarities in parents’ and adolescents’ conceptions of autonomy were found. Both generations conceive autonomy as multidimensional (i.e., self-sufficiency, decision making, and acting responsibly) and as an age-graded process that is achieved in interaction with parents. Participants emphasize the affective quality of the parent–adolescent relationship, particularly trust, for healthy autonomy achievement. Differences by socioeconomic status (SES) were also apparent in that low-middle-SES parents emphasize the self-sufficiency and responsibility component of autonomy, and adolescents grant more authority to parents in regulating adolescents’ behavior compared with their high-middle-SES counterparts
This article explores the experiences of adolescent males in Cambodia who, simultaneous to their maltreatment and marginalization within the family and community, have reduced opportunities to produce identities of sociomoral value through access to cultural capital. It draws on ethnographic data gathered from adolescents boys aged 9 to 16 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, through in-depth interviews and participant observation. The article examines why and how these so-called bad boys are forming gang subcultures as a site of resistance, stressing their role as social actors who make competent and considered lifestyle choices as per their social constraints and opportunities. Gang membership is demonstrated to offer bad boys varying benefits. Yet significant individual and societal risks also arise from these boys’ gang involvement. In conclusion, therefore, it is advocated that development practitioners work with bad boys through, rather than against, their subcultures, supporting them to identify alternative means of negotiating social inclusion.
This cross-sectional study investigated associations between perceived parental rearing, attachment, and social anxiety. 510 Chinese middle school students, aged 12 to 20 years, completed a set of questionnaires including "Egna Minnen Beträffande Uppfostran" for Children (EMBU-C), Inventory for Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA) and Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A). The results showed that intercorrelations between adolescents’ rated attachment to parents were stronger than betweenparental and peer attachment. Girls scored higher on attachment to mother and peer than boys. Lack of parental rejection and presence of emotional warmth were strongly related to parental attachment. The rated level of total anxiety was not related to gender or age, but it was lower than what has earlier been reported from China. Perceived rejection from fathers and mothers’ as well as attachment to peer and mother acted as predictors; together they explained 19% of the variance in social anxiety.
Sexual minority youth are known to face increased risk of poor school performance; however, little research has focused on the educational experiences of multiethnic sexual minority youth (MSMY) in particular. Using venue-based sampling approaches, this study surveyed 255 MSMY at 15 urban high schools. The majority of participants identified as female (65%), Latina (58%), and bisexual (41%), with a mean age of 16. The use of structural equation modeling techniques found that 23% of the variance of school performance was explained by the multivariate model. Examination of the model path coefficients revealed that experiences of perceived discrimination had a powerfully negative influence on the school performance of MSMY. Whereas increased family support was associated with better school performance, neither peer nor school support had similar impact. In addition, levels of support did not significantly moderate the effect of perceived discrimination on MSMY.
Participation in youth programming fosters positive developmental outcomes for youth, yet recruitment and retention are ongoing challenges. Given the imbalance in rates of participation of ethnic minority youth, compared with White youth, it is important to gain a greater understanding of the contextual factors that promote or inhibit participation. In this study, the authors considered whether elements of positive youth programming, specifically youth voice and supportive relationships, would reduce potential barriers to continued program participation. Consistent with the extant literature, supportive relationships reduced potential barriers to continuing participation. The key finding from the study, however, showed that youth voice increased potential barriers to participation for ethnic minority youth but not for White youth. The implications for research and practice are discussed.
Using Hofstede’s cultural dimension of masculinity/femininity, this quantitative content analysis investigated the coverage of virginity loss (i.e., occurrence, tone, and association with negative consequences) and pregnancy (i.e., occurrence, tone, and negative consequence of sex) in 2,496 feature stories from all issues of three U.S. and three Dutch teen girl magazines from 2006 to 2008. Stories about virginity loss and pregnancy occurred equally often in the U.S. and Dutch magazines. Pregnancy was attached with a negative tone in both the United States and Dutch coverage. Virginity loss, however, was portrayed with a positive tone more often in the Dutch coverage than in the U.S. coverage. In addition, pregnancy was depicted as a negative consequence of sex more often in the U.S. coverage than in the Dutch coverage. Implications are discussed in terms of differences in adolescent sexual socialization in the United States and the Netherlands.
Focus group discussions with the youth living and working in the streets of Manila as well as interviews with key informants involved in intervention programs for these youth reveal several ways by which the youth may be protected from engaging in problem behaviors in and out of the streets. Findings reveal that conditions which promote the feeling of safety and of nurturance within familial relationships provide the children with a sense of protection and stability. The children are also protected when the community provides the child with opportunities to be productive and positively contribute to community life. The efficacy gained from their participation in productive communal life provides the street children with a sense of hope which allows them with an agency to chart their movement out of the streets
Why some young people start to tattoo their bodies? And why some of them keep going on with this practice, until having all body tattooed? What doing so means to them? These are some of the questions that underlie a qualitative research project carried out in Portugal on heavily tattooed young people. In this article, the author discusses their embodied trajectory from the first experiences to their involvement in a body project, and explains the meanings involved in this extreme corporeality. The analysis takes into consideration the structural dynamics that define how young people live their transitions and their identity construction nowadays to contextualize what appears as individual experiences and projects without reifying the individual as a privileged site of knowledge. Based on in-deph comprehensive interviews, the author demonstrates that the engagement of young people in this permanent body modification project represents an embodied struggle for the maintenance of a desired subjectivity. In an increasingly liquid and uncertain society, some young people ink larges extensions of their bodies searching for social recognition as different, authentic, and autonomous individuals and trying to maintain their core identity during transitional turning points.
Bullying is a serious problem within the U.S. school system. Prior research suggests that victimization is stratified by race and ethnicity. However, few studies consider factors that may moderate this relationship. This article extends research on this topic by considering whether stereotypes moderate bullying among racial and ethnic youth. Youth who violate stereotypes may experience derogatory treatment. This study examines whether violated racial and ethnicity stereotypes are linked to the victimization of racial and ethnic minorities. The study findings based on data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 indicate that stereotypes linked to family socioeconomic status (SES), test scores, and interscholastic sports participation moderate the relationship between bullying victimization and race and ethnicity. The implications for future research and policy implementation are discussed.
Although research has explored the effects of protective factors on fostering resiliency within individuals, the same level of inquiry has not emerged investigating the causes of why high-risk organizations are resilient to serious violent delinquency. One type of organization that seems particular appropriate for research inquiry is the school. Using a sample of 307 school principals from the School Survey on Crime and Safety, this study investigates how protective factors are individually and cumulatively related to resiliency against serious violence within schools. The findings indicate schools may be more reactive than proactive in their efforts to remain resilient. The theoretical and policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Few studies have investigated school-based, positive development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) youth, despite knowledge of their heightened negative school experiences compared to heterosexual youth (e.g., school victimization). This study examines associations among participation in Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)–related social justice activities, GSA presence, and GSA membership with victimization based on sexual orientation and school-based well-being (i.e., school safety, school belongingness, grade point average [GPA]) and future plans to vote. Using data from the Preventing School Harassment Study, a survey of 230 LGBQ students in 7th through 12th grades, the study finds that participation in GSA-related social justice activities and the presence of a GSA are positively associated with school belongingness and GPA. GSA membership is also positively associated with school belongingness. However, moderation analyses suggest that the positive benefits of GSA-related social justice involvement and the presence of a GSA dissipate at high levels of school victimization. Implications for schools are discussed.
Impulsivity holds a central place in the explanations of adolescent delinquency. Recent research suggests that neighborhood characteristics, particularly SES (socioeconomic status), perceived supervision, and collective efficacy, moderate the association between impulsivity and delinquency. However, findings to date have been equivocal, and the relationships between social context, impulsivity, and delinquency remain an open question. This study builds on the current literature by examining the moderating influence of a second context, the high school, on the relationship between impulsivity and delinquency. The authors focus explicitly on self-reported delinquency that has occurred on school grounds, referred to here as school misconduct. Results of hierarchical logistic regression models using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health suggest that the relationship between impulsivity and two measures of misconduct vary significantly across schools. Moreover, the relationship between impulsivity and weapon carrying is stronger in schools characterized by a limited sense of connectedness among students.
We examine the experience of boredom and its relationship to troublemaking and drug use among rural youth in southwestern New Mexico. We draw on qualitative research with area youth to describe what they think about drug use and how they situate it within their social circumstances. We then locate youth drug use within globalized processes affecting this setting, including a local economic environment with limited educational and employment opportunities for youth. Drug use emerges as a common social practice that enables youth to ameliorate boredom, yet only some youth become known as troublemakers. Study findings offer insight into how dominant social institutions—schools and juvenile justice authorities—shape the construction of trouble from the perspectives of youth. We contend that boredom and troublemaking among rural youth are not simply age-appropriate forms of self-expression but instead represent manifestations of social position, political economic realities, and assessments of possible futures.
We use a development-in-context approach to conceptualize how rapid sociopolitical change impacts the processes associated with youth resilience. Positive developmental change is shown to be influenced by transactions between mutually interdependent psychological, social, and political systems. We draw on a case example from research conducted with youth aged 18 to 29 years old in Moscow. The findings suggest that youth build resilience during times of economic and political upheaval by integrating the values they nostalgically attribute to collectivism while finding new ways to meet their individual and collective needs. The research supports a contextualized understanding of resilience that can explain positive adaptation for youth at risk when sociopolitical systems are in the process of transformation.