Validation of the Adolescent Concerns Evaluation (ACE): Detecting Indicators of Runaway Behavior in Adolescents

By Springer, David W. | Social Work Research, December 1998 | Go to article overview

Validation of the Adolescent Concerns Evaluation (ACE): Detecting Indicators of Runaway Behavior in Adolescents


Springer, David W., Social Work Research


The Adolescent Concerns Evaluation (ACE)is a 40-item multidimensional instrument scored on a five-point Likert scale consisting of four separate yet interdependent domains: family, school, peer, and individual(depression). The instrument has the potential to identify youths who ore at risk of running away and may be useful to social work educators, practitioners, and researchers who deal with this vulnerable population. With preliminary evidence that the ACE is a reliable and valid tool, it is hoped that the instrument may help social workers determine treatment goals and measure treatment progress in their work with runaway youths.

Key words: Adolescent Concerns Evaluation; assessment; reliability; runaway youths; validity

Explanations of why young people run away from home and the meaning and significance attached to this behavior have varied over time, reflecting changing social, historical, political, and economic contexts. Current research demonstrates a trend toward long-term homelessness for runaway adolescents (Rothman, 1991), which partially can be attributed to a pattern of family breakdown (Teare, Authier, & Peterson, 1994; Whitbeck & Simons, 1990), accompanied by such factors as parental rejection (Kurtz, Jarvis, & Kurtz, 1991), physical and sexual abuse of teenagers (Powers, Eckenrode, & Jalditsch, 1990), and school problems (Kammer & Schmidt, 1987). Dealing with these complex issues is a challenging task for social workers who deal with runaways, requiring an in-depth understanding of this population and the problems it experiences. The social work literature has reflected a professional concern that interventions should be empirically demonstrated to be effective (Fischer, 1973; Rubin, 1985). However, empirical research on intervention strategies with runaway youths is limited.

One of many barriers to practice and research with this population has been the lack of an easily administered measurement instrument that specifically addresses runaway behavior. Post and McCoard (1994) developed an instrument (Needs of Adolescent Runaways) that serves as an assessment of the needs of runaway youths after they have run away. To date, however, no instrument that serves as an indicator of adolescents who may be at risk of running away from home or that has the capacity to track progress of treatment with runaway youths has been developed. An instrument that identifies youths who may be at risk of running away may lead to a subsequent increase in primary, secondary, and tertiary preventive social work practice with this population. The development of such an instrument--the Adolescent Concerns Evaluation (ACE)--is the focus of this article. The ACE is presented, as are preliminary psychometric properties of the instrument.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Not surprising, close inspection of various explanations about why adolescents run away from home reveals several themes that point to situational determinants that contribute to the runaway phenomenon: escape from an intolerable situation within the family (VanHouten & Golebiewski, 1985); parental rejection or expulsion (Adams, Gullotta, & Clancy, 1985); the effort of the adolescent to establish separation, individuation, and independence or emancipation from family rule, regulation, and support (Crespi & Sabatelli, 1993); economic stress (Ferran & Sabatini, 1985); negative psychological or social adjustment (Kammer & Schmidt, 1987); violation of social expectations and cultural norms (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1979); an attempt to find a value system that the runaway can accept (Loeb, Burke, & Boglarsky, 1986); or simple thrill seeking (Blood & D'Angelo, 1974). In addition, some adolescents have encountered very difficult situations in school and have experienced a lack of support within the home (Post & McCoard, 1994).

The families of runaways frequently have been described as being dysfunctional in one way or another: Parents are often separated, divorced, in trouble with the law, or abusing alcohol (Kurtz et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Validation of the Adolescent Concerns Evaluation (ACE): Detecting Indicators of Runaway Behavior in Adolescents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.