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NCJ Number: 156012 Find in a Library
Title: Reclaiming the Unreclaimable
Journal: Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:37-41
Author(s): J Seita; L Brendtro
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines how adults can build attachments to "unclaimed" youth, based in part on the personal reflections of one author who was a former youth at risk and beat the odds.
Abstract: Unattached children typically develop internal models of themselves as unworthy and unlovable. The result is depression, often mixed with rage and aggression, and children target their anger on adults who fail to meet their needs for love and on themselves for not deserving it. Stresses of modern society and the decline of extended kinship support are producing a significant number of poorly socialized children. Further, adults struggling with stresses related to single parenting, poverty, racism, and alcohol or other drugs do not have adequate resources to positively rear their children. Many unattached children become survivors by developing a type of negative resilience. Trusting no adults, they conclude they have to "go it alone." Two diametrically opposed paradigms exist for intervening with troubled youth. One is deficit-based, a preoccupation with treating pathology and controlling deviance. The other is strength-based, the search for potential and the development of resilience. The authors recommend a strength-based approach in which problems are cast as learning opportunities, fail-safe relationships are established, the meaning of behavior is decoded, adults model respect to disrespectful youth, and positive expectations are encouraged. 14 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Crime prevention measures; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile self concept; Parental influence; Social conditions; Socialization; Youth development
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