Adolescence: Growing Up in America Today

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Oxford University Press, USA, Aug 3, 2006 - Family & Relationships - 264 pages
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Of the 33 million adolescents in the United States, almost 10 million are at risk of failing to become responsible adults. They attend schools that do not serve their needs, lack the support of caring adults, and, as a result, are alienated from mainstream society. African-American and Hispanic children, increasingly segregated in disadvantaged neighborhoods, are particularly vulnerable.In Adolescence: Growing Up in America Today, a follow-up to Joy Dryfoos's landmark volume, Adolescents at Risk (OUP, 1991), Joy Dryfoos and Carol Barkin take a close look at the lives of young people, identify some of their problems, and present solutions based on state-of-the-art prevention and treatment strategies. They examine important issues in adolescents' lives--sex, violence, drugs, health, mental health, and education. Reviewing successful prevention programs and policy studies, Dryfoos and Barkin demonstrate that we know what to do to prevent high-risk behaviors: young people need to establish relationships with adults; parents need to be involved in their children's lives; and programs need to be comprehensive, sensitive to cultural differences, and staffed by highly trained personnel.Dryfoos and Barkin argue that turning our backs on adolescents will lead to disturbing consequences: the achievement gap will grow, outcomes will worsen, school systems will struggle with the growing disparities, and we as a nation will fall behind the rest of the world in our capacity to educate our youth. If, however, we decide that we want a better quality of life for our children, we will insure that every young person has access to an excellent education. Schools, youth workers, and parents cannot alone provide a better quality of life for our adolescents, but each must play a major role, and all must work together. Providing a roadmap for the development and implementation of sound policies for American teenagers in the twenty-first century, this volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of our nation's youth.
 

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Contents

WHY LOOK AT TEENS IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
3
STATUS OF YOUTH TODAY
15
SEX
25
VIOLENCE AND DELINQUENCY
59
DRUGS
97
HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
125
EDUCATION
149
QUALITY OF LIFE
189
SUMMING IT UP
215
WORSTCASE SCENARIO FOR THE FUTURE
235
POSITIVE SCENARIO FOR THE FUTURE
245
INDEX
255
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About the author (2006)


Joy G. Dryfoos has received support from major foundations since 1981 for the "youth-at-risk" project, focusing on prevention programs related to sex, drugs, violence, and school failure. She has written 6 books and more than 100 articles on teenagers and on full-service community schools. Dryfoos is on the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Community Schools and the Boston Roundtable for Full Service Schools. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Carol Barkin has written 35 books for children and young adults and 6 books for adults, both novels and nonfiction. Her best-known book for adults is When Your Kid Goes to College, which helps parents through this trying, though exhilarating, transition. Barkin is also a freelance editor and book doctor with a particular interest in the social sciences and psychology. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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