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NCJ Number: 69009 Find in a Library
Title: FLIGHT OF THE YOUNG - WHY CHILDREN RUN AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES
Journal: ADOLESCENCE  Volume:15  Issue:58  Dated:(SUMMER 1980)  Pages:483-489
Author(s): R JOHNSON; M M CARTER
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ESSAY DISCUSSES FACTORS WHICH CAUSE ADOLESCENTS TO RUN AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES. IT IS BASED ON RESULTS OF EXISTING RESEARCH IN OTHER SOURCES.
Abstract: IN 1975, AN ESTIMATED 600,000 CHILDREN RAN AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES. RUNAWAYS DIFFER FROM NONRUNAWAYS IN FAMILY STRUCTURES, PATTERS OF DISCIPLINING, ACADEMIC MOTIVATION, AND THE CHARACTER OF SELF-PERCEPTIONS. REJECTION AT HOME AND AT SCHOOL IS A KEY ELEMENT OF THEIR LIVES. REJECTION LEADS ULTIMATELY TO SELF-HATRED. FAMILIES OF RUNAWAYS HAVE HIGH RATES OF INTERNAL CONFLICT, DIVORCE, RESIDENTIAL MOBILITY, AND DEATH. DISCIPLINE IS USUALLY PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY ABUSIVE. PUNISHMENTS ARE SUPPLEMENTED BY NEGATIVE AND DEHUMANIZING LABELS. AT SCHOOL, RUNAWAYS ARE OFTEN TRACKED INTO SLOW LEARNER CLASSES, LEFT BACK TO REPEAT GRADES, AND OSTRACIZED BY TEACHERS AND PEERS. CHILDREN RUN AWAY WHEN THE CUMULATIVE EXPERIENCE OF MARGINALITY BREEDS INTOLERABLE LONELINESS AND ALIENATION. HOME AND SCHOOL ARE VIEWED AS OPPRESSIVE AND SUFFOCATING. THIS ANALYSIS IS CONSISTENT WITH ERIKSON'S DISCUSSIONS OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF SOCIETAL PRESSURES, STAGES OF THE LIFECYCLE, AND PERSONAL IDENTITY. TO CURE RUNNING AWAY, COMMUNITIES MUST HARNESS YOUTHFUL VITALITY IN SERVICE OF MEANINGFUL GOALS. THE CORRECTIONAL EXPERIENCE COULD PROVIDE VALUABLE EDUCATION IN CITIZENSHIP BY PROVIDING REAL CHOICES AND RESPONDING TO DEMANDS FOR REAL SERVICES. ALTHOUGH THE CHALLENGE OF GUIDING TRUE COMMUNITIES AND A CONSTRUCTIVE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS ENORMOUS, CHILDREN MUST BE PROVIDED WITH VIABLE ROLES AND IDENTITIES IN ORDER TO MAKE NEW AND ALIVE, FOR EACH GENERATION, THE BODY POLITIC. FOOTNOTES AND A REFERENCE LIST ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Domestic relations; Home environment; Runaways; United States of America
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69009

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