America's Youth in Crisis: Challenges and Options for Programs and Policies

America's Youth in Crisis: Challenges and Options for Programs and Policies

  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“Richard M. Lerner's work presents a powerful and emotive treatise on the crisis facing America's youth. Drawing on a wide range of statistical evidence to support his arguments, he graphically demonstrates the risks of drug and alcohol abuse, unsafe sexual practices, teenage pregnancy, school drop out and academic underachievement, delinquency, crime, and violence facing American youth at historically unprecedented levels. … This is an authoritative, well-researched piece of work that takes a refreshing and positive look to the future of action research in collaboration with empowered communities to provide for needs and treasure the community resources that have in the past been paid scant attention. America's Youth in Crisis is both forward thinking and imaginative and will challenge researchers, policymakers, and practitioners faced with the crisis of American youth.” –Heather Leitch in Journal of Adolescence “Lerner's work presents a powerful and emotive treatise on the crisis facing America's youth. Drawing on a wide range of statistical evidence to support his arguments he graphically demonstrates the risks of drug and alcohol abuse, unsafe sexual practices, teenage pregnancy, school drop-out and academic under-achievement, deliquency, crime and violence facing American youth at historically unprecedented levels. Lerner calls for a comprehensive and integrated national policy on youth to address these risk factors which he sees as threatening the very fabric of American society. This is an authoritative, well-researched piece of work which takes a refreshing and positive look to the future of action research in collaboration with empowered communities to provide the needs, and treasure the community resources which have in the past been paid scant attention. It is both forward-thinking and imaginative and will challenge researchers, policy-makers and practitioners faced with crisis of American youth.” –Heather Leitch in Journal of Adolescence Our nation's youth are at risk for drug and alcohol abuse, unsafe sexual practices, teen pregnancy, academic underachievement, delinquency, and crime and violence. What can be done to prevent these problems from occurring? Outlining a vigorous “call to arms,” this volume describes the steps needed to overcome these potential problems by enhancing academic researchers' responsiveness to the needs of the community and encouraging them to apply the results of research findings to community outreach. After reviewing the problems that beset today's youth, Lerner offers a model, developmental contextualism, that provides a theoretical framework for viewing child and adolescent development in relation to specific features of environmental “context” such as family, neighborhood, society, culture, etc. This model is used to describe the problems and the potentials that are associated with the bidirectional relationships between youth and their contexts. Lerner asserts that by altering the context in which youth live, researchers can test the effectiveness of policies and/or programs in creating desired changes in children's and adolescents' behavior and development. Researchers and practitioners interested in child and adolescent development, family studies, child and family policy, and program evaluation will find this thought-provoking book useful in their studies and programs. “Brief and often abstract, the book first describes the crises facing America's children and adolescents… The ideas proposed by Lerner could transform programs for America's youth and revitalize applied research.” –Choice “One of the nation's most eminent developmental psychologists has applied his mastery of adolescent research and theory to a new challenge. In America's Youth in Crisis he focuses his attention on solutions, showing how research and outreach come together in successful prevention programs.” –Graham B. Spanier, Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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