I would like to say first of all that I found lots of statistics associated with troubled teens and juvenile delinquents but I chose not to include them because I do not believe in statistics. Every individual within a “statistic” has a name. Statistics do not give people hope; they are a generalization and they do not look at the individual. I believe that we need to help one “troubled teen” at a time, individually, according to what they need to rehabilitate their lives.
What causes these “troubled teens”? Do they just wake up one morning and decide to be rebellious? I think not. In my research, I found one study that actually identified a number of demographic and behavioral characteristics associated with the risk of becoming a troubled teen. “Ethnic minority status, aggressive, antisocial behavior, difficulties in school and school failures, [and] family stresses” (Scott; Nelson; Liaupsin; Jolivette; Christle; Riney) were all linked to the labeling of an “at risk teen”. This report stated that the most important prevention factor was “effective instruction in academic and social skills” (Scott; Nelson; Liaupsin; Jolivette; Christle; Riney) through the school in which teens attend. I 100% disagree with their primary prevention factor. First of all, social skills are taught early on in the home. I was astonished that although this study included family stresses as a preventative measure, why was it not first and foremost? Our family and family life has the biggest influence over who we are and who we become. Our personalities are formed usually by the age of 5 and it is the family that molds and helps... [continues]
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