Youth Development and Neighborhood Influences: Challenges and Opportunities

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National Academies Press, Dec 10, 1996 - Social Science - 40 pages
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On January 25, 1996, the Committee on Youth Development of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families convened a workshop to examine the implications of research on social settings for the design and evaluation of programs that serve youth. The January workshop provided an opportunity for the committee to examine the strengths and limitations of existing research on interactions between social settings and adolescent development. This research has drawn attention to the importance of understanding how, when, and where adolescents interact with their families, peers, and unrelated adults in settings such as home, school, places of work, and recreational sites. This workshop builds on previous work of the National Research Council and reiterates its support for integrating studies of social settings into more traditional research on individual characteristics, family functioning, and peer relationships in seeking to describe and explain adolescent behavior and youth outcomes.

Not only does this report examine the strengths and limitations of research on social settings and adolescence and identify important research questions that deserve further study in developing this field, but it also explores alternative methods by which the findings of research on social settings could be better integrated into the development of youth programs and services. Specific themes include the impact of social settings on differences in developmental pathways, role expectations, and youth identity and decision-making skills, as well as factors that contribute to variations in community context.

 

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Contents

Summary
1
Introduction
3
The Charge to the Committee
5
The Problem with Problem Orientations
7
The Influence of Social Settings on Youth Development
9
Assessing Change and Development Within Neighborhoods
16
The Need for Informed Conversations Between Research and Practice
21
Next Steps
24
References
27
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