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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99656 Find in a Library
Title: Transition Processes - Healthy Versus Pathological in Youth Groups
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:29  Issue:2  Dated:(1985)  Pages:159-170
Author(s): F Wright
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Relying largely on D. Winnicott's ideas about transitional objects and phenomena, this article reviews the ways in which group experience can be psychologically meaningful, even necessary, for many young people; it distinguishes between healthy and antisocial uses of the group.
Abstract: Some theorists have concluded that the group provides several transitional and developmental functions for youth. It has security value, offers opportunities for exploration experimentation, and provides a chance for interpersonal skills development. The group supports members as they work through negative feelings toward authority figures and give up omnipresent fantasies concerning authority figures like their parents. One opposing view argues that the group has a pathological function, one of evasion and giving protection and escape from the dangerous, outside world. This concept helps to explain the possible emotional dynamics underlying the behavior of youth gangs whose activities are not being used in a transition fashion to promote involvement with the outside world, but rather to prevent interaction with the larger society. Study of ways in which groups can be organized to help youth to work through developmental issues in a prosocial fashion is recommended. Approximately 30 references are included.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Maturation theory; Youth groups
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