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Raising
Teens
A Synthesis of Research and a Foundation for Action
A. RAE SIMPSON, PH.D.
Project on the Parenting of Adolescents Center for Health Communication Harvard School of Public Health This project was supported by a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Raising
Teens
A Synthesis of Research and a Foundation for Action
A. RAE SIMPSON, PH.D.
Project on the Parenting of Adolescents Center for Health Communication Harvard School of Public Health This project was supported by a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Copyright © 2001 by A. Rae Simpson and the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Permission is granted for the not-for-profit reproduction and distribution of this report or portions thereof, provided that (1) proper copyright notice is affixed to each copy, and (2) the Center is notified of such use. Recommended Citation: Simpson, A. Rae (2001). Raising Teens: A Synthesis of Research and a Foundation for Action. Boston: Center for Health Communication, Harvard School of Public Health. Rae Simpson may be contacted at: Center for Work, Family & Personal Life Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 16-151 Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 Telephone: 617-253-1592 Fax: 617-253-2609 Email: rsimpson@mit.edu Copies of the report may be downloaded from: http://hrweb.mit.edu/worklife/rp_o

Also available from the web site and from the Center are copies of Dr. Simpson's previous report, The Role of the Mass Media in Parenting Education, published by the Center in 1997.

Raising Teens
A Synthesis of Research and a Foundation for Action
A. RAE SIMPSON, PH.D.
Project on the Parenting of Adolescents Center for Health Communication Harvard School of Public Health Jay A. Winsten, Ph.D., Center Director This project was supported by a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Table of Contents
Report Summary
Purpose and Goals The Ten Tasks of Adolescence The Five Basics of Parenting Adolescents Recommendations for Future Work 4

4 6 7 12

Report Background
The Need The Harvard Project on the Parenting of Adolescents Methods, Definitions, and Assumptions

15 16 22 24

Principles and Context
The Ten Tasks of Adolescence

29 31
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

The Five Basics of Parenting Adolescents
1 Love and Connect 2 Monitor and Observe 3 Guide and Limit 4 Model and Consult 5 Provide and Advocate First Do No Harm

47 49 52 56 59 62 65

Recommendations for Future Work References Acknowledgments

69 79 94

3

RAISING TEENS

Report Summary
Purpose and Goals
This report has been written to heighten media and public attention to both a crisis and an opportunity. The crisis is that, by almost any measure, America’s teenagers are facing risks from violence, mental illness, abuse, neglect, inadequate education, substance abuse, poverty, and other sources that profoundly jeopardize their futures— and, hence, our own. One of the most striking aspects of this crisis is how little we have involved parents as part of the solution. While initiatives are needed at all levels, from community development to policy change, we often lose sight of one of the groups that can and most wants to help teens: their parents. REPORT SUMMARY

Therein lies the opportunity: In recent years, an unprecedented body of research has been accumulating about the powerful ways in which parents and families make a difference in the lives of teens. Yet, little of that knowledge has been reaching the media, policy makers, and practitioners, let alone parents themselves.

The goal of this report is to make this new body of research findings on the parenting of adolescents more accessible RAISING TEENS

and useful to those who work with and on behalf of parents, adolescents, and families, so that they, in turn, can make it more accessible and useful to parents. Prepared within the Center for Health Communication at the...
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