Adolescence, Risk and Resilience: Against the Odds
January 2008, ©2006
Adolescence is often portrayed as an age of particular risk. Adolescents are not only considered a risk to themselves, but also to the rest of society, through antisocial behaviour, teenage pregnancy, and social exclusion. As a society we are nervous of them, and consider them vulnerable, yet the seeds of successful and independent adult life are laid down in adolescence and they need all the help and support that they can get at a challenging time.
This book looks in depth at some of the key risks faced by adolescents, and at some of the ways in which they can be alleviated. Some children are more resilient than others, even if they experience the same patterning of risk factors. Practitioners can aim to help families and other agencies to foster and bolster protective factors in the young peoples' lives. Key adults in the family can perhaps become mentors and thus substitute for shortfalls in parenting. While it is often a source of stress and exclusion, education also has a role in providing positive experiences and much needed structure. Researchers have also highlighted the importance of "turning points", such as moving out of a neighbourhood, which may interrupt the flow from risk factors to poor outcomes. We can begin to untangle some of the "knock on" effects that act to increase risk, and doing this brings opportunities for intervention.
Chapter 1 The Nature of Risk and Resilience in Adolescence 1
John Coleman and Ann Hagell
Chapter 2 The Role of the Family 17
Catherine O’Brien and Jacqueline Scott
Chapter 3 Growing Up in Substitute Care: Risk and Resilience Factors for Looked-after Young People and Care Leavers 41
Sue Mills and Nick Frost
Chapter 4 Sex and Risk 63
Jennifer J. Pearce
Chapter 5 Mental Health and Mental Disorders 89
Chapter 6 Young Disabled People 107
Chapter 7 Anti-social Behaviour 125
Chapter 8 Social Exclusion, Risk and Young Adulthood 143
Chapter 9 Adolescence, Risk and Resilience: A Conclusion 165
John Coleman and Ann Hagell
Dr Ann Hagell is Co-Director of the Policy Research Bureau, an independent social policy centre focusing children, families and at-risk adolescents.
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