Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Issues and Research

Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Issues and Research

Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Issues and Research

Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Issues and Research

Synopsis

Adolescence has long been recognized as the developmental period during which deviant and criminal behaviors were most likely to emerge. This volume presents recent cutting-edge theory and research about the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of adolescent problem behaviors. The material presented is unique in that it features the work of some of the most respected researchers in a wide range of disciplines including history and sociology, developmental, clinical, and social psychology, and psychiatry, behavioral genetics, and criminology. Despite this wide variation in perspectives, both common and unique themes and lessons learned about adolescents who engage in problem and risk-taking behaviors and society's responses to these adolescents emerge. To maximize cross-disciplinary integration, each author was asked to discuss two broad topics that cut across disciplinary and theoretical boundaries: gender differences, and prevention or intervention strategies. Finally, researchers and practitioners can access multi-disciplinary perspectives on adolescent problem behaviors in a single, highly thought-provoking and informative text. This book will be of interest, and is accessible, to a wide range of social science scholars and students.

Excerpt

In all civilized lands, criminal statistics show two sad and significant facts: First, that
there is a marked increase in crime at the age of twelve to fourteen, not in crimes of
one but of all kinds, and that this increase continues for a number of years. While the
percentage of certain grave crimes increases to mature manhood, adolescence is
preeminently the criminal age when most first commitments occur and most vicious
careers are begun. The second fact is that the proportion of juvenile delinquents seems
to be everywhere increasing and crime is more and more precocious. . .the significance
of these facts for ethics, sociology, genetic psychology, and for the efficiency of
education and religion, as well as for the success of a form of civilization, is profound
and complex.
--G. Stanley Hall (1904)

Except, perhaps, for its reference to religion, this statement by the founder of scientific child psychology could have been made by any number of contemporary social scientists interested in youthful misbehavior and deviance. Hall was the first to recognize adolescence as the period during which delinquent and criminal behaviors were most likely to emerge, and his insight has been verified repeatedly by his distant heirs and successors in the modern fields of psychology, psychiatry, criminology, and sociology. Unfortunately for him, Hall's seminal work has been largely forgotten or ignored, in part because of its atheoretical nature, outdated assumptions, and beliefs (e.g., that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny," and that maturation plays a major role in development), and his moralistic tone. Hall . . .

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