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Psychosocial Disorders in Young People: Time Trends and Their Causes

ISBN: 978-0-471-95054-7
864 pages
July 1995
Psychosocial Disorders in Young People: Time Trends and Their Causes (0471950548) cover image
During the 'Golden Era' of economic growth between 1950 and 1973, mortality and physical illness declined in developed countries, but a number of psychosocial disorders increased. The authors of this volume search out the causes of the increased disorder in young people and target the disorders that rise in frequency in the teenage years: crime, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, anorexia and bulimia, and suicide. The extensive research findings on the mechanisms that lead to each of the disorders are reviewed. In addition, the authors consider a wide range of social and economic changes as possible explanations of trends in the disorders: the changing process of adolescent development, the family, the economy, the labour market, the mass media, and moral concepts and values are all discussed in depth. This international group of researchers bring together, for the first time, under the auspices of the Academia Europaea, data for a range of psychosocial disorders on time trends, on cross-national differences, on risk and protective factors for individuals, and on the developmental processes that link childhood with adult life. The Academia Europaea as a multinational, multidisciplinary organisation support in various areas this kind of study. The authors demonstrate that this inter-disciplinary approach, combining analysis of individual differences and aggregate trends, has great power and potential for future research. Practitioners, academics and policy makers in the fields of mental health, criminal justice, and social policy will find in this volume some surprising conclusions as well as useful guidelines for action, based on authoritative evidence from these unique studies.
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Partial table of contents:

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS.

Causal Concepts and Their Testing (M. Rutter).

Individual Development and Social Change (G. Caprara & M. Rutter).

CHANGING CONDITIONS AND INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT.

Changing Family Patterns in Western Europe: Opportunity and Risk Factors for Adolescent Development (L. Hess).

Living Conditions in the Twentieth Century (D. Smith).

Media and Problem Behaviours in Young People (E. Wartella).

THE TARGET DISORDERS.

Youth Crime and Conduct Disorders: Trends, Patterns and Causal Explanations (D. Smith).

Secular Trends in Substance Use: Concepts and Data on the Impact of Social Change on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (R. Silbereisen, et al.).

Depressive Disorders: Time Trends and Possible Explanatory Mechanisms (E. Fombonne).

CONCLUSIONS.

Time Trends in Psychosocial Disorders of Youth (D. Smith & M. Rutter).

Towards Causal Explanations of Time Trends in Psychosocial Disorders of Youth (M. Rutter & D. Smith).

Index.
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