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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222618 Find in a Library
Title: Places to Be and to Belong: Youth Perceptions of Life in Community
Journal: The Prevention Researcher  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:April 2008  Pages:12-15
Author(s): Janis Whitlock Ph.D.; Jane Powers Ph.D.
Date Published: April 2008
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes findings from a study that examined how adolescents' connection to a community and its resources for development occurred.
Abstract: The study found that youth want to feel accepted and valued as an important part of the community, not just as recipients of what adults decide they need for positive development. Youth want to be decisionmakers in and contributors toward what will make the community a better place for both youth and adults to express their interests and experience age-related recreational, social, learning, and community-building activities. Too many youth feel that adults in their communities perceive them as troublemakers who must be carefully monitored and as so incompetent that only adults are qualified to plan and implement youth-related and other community activities. The study recommends that community leaders focus on creating opportunities for youth of all ages to be included in the development of community institutions and activities on as many levels as possible. Also, people who interact regularly with youth, such as teachers, school administrators, leaders of youth activities, retailers, and police should be trained to treat youth with respect and courtesy. Data collection for the study occurred in the fall of 2001 and winter of 2002 in a town of just over 100,000 residents in the Northeastern United States. The survey included 318 youth in 19 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade classes of 3 school districts. Focus groups were created to facilitate youths' comments on responses to the survey's open-ended questions. The survey addressed youth perceptions of adult residents' attitudes toward them, entertainment options, places for them in public spaces, relations with police, community use of their input and knowledge, and their role as a valued constituency in the community. 1 figure, 4 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Police juvenile relations; Public Opinion of Juveniles; Youth community involvement; Youth development
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