Health Issues for Minority Adolescents

Health Issues for Minority Adolescents

Health Issues for Minority Adolescents

Health Issues for Minority Adolescents

Synopsis

Adolescents are an underserved group in terms of health care. Poor and minority youth are particularly shortchanged in our current system. In view of the high incidence of many medical and psychological syndromes associated with poverty and discrimination, this situation is paradoxical. This book examines both common and unique health issues associated with a number of different groups - African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian-American, and Hawaiian - and explores the role of traditional and nontraditional treatments for each. The chapters represent a compendium of the most up-to-date studies summarized by leading researchers and include specific recommendations for improving health care services, which will prove valuable to providers and those concerned with public policy. The authors conclude that unless greater attention and resources are devoted to these youth, the consequences will continue to be dire, both for the groups involved and for society as a whole.

Excerpt

Calling the 1994 election not a "drive-by shooting" but instead an "anxiety attack," columnist Ellen Goodman began 1995 by nominating the Angry White Man for 1994 man of the year (Goodman, 1995b). She noted the increasingly marked gender and ethnic differences in voting patterns and the anger that seemed to accompany them. Attacks on candidates, especially incumbents, became more and more personal and vitriolic and ad hominem charges were accompanied and followed by mean-spirited proposals for new public policies.

Voters in some states indicated their desire to transform professionals who provide services to children and families into de facto part-time Border Patrol agents legally charged with reporting illegal immigrants, and moves to dismantle affirmative-action programs for disadvantaged groups have become common. the new congressional leadership made elimination of social and economic benefits even to families of legal immigrants a cornerstone of its agenda. Compounding the injury, some congressional leaders framed such policies as means to strengthen the resources available to parents for their children's support (see Goodman, 1995a).

Although the claim that increasingly miserly social policies are "pro- child" is disingenuous, it does respond to the anxiety underlying the anger driving contemporary policies. As Goodman (1995b) noted, White males increasingly face "a bad case of the jitters": "Jitters about the new world economy and our old jobs, jitters about our kids, our futures, and the frayed connections between people who call themselves Americans . . ."

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