THE RAISING OF SELF-ESTEEM TOWARDS THE AT RISK YOUTHS
This paper explains briefly the research proposal which specifically focuses on the programs proven to be effective in raising self-esteem in at-risk youth. This research proposal includes the background of the study, statement of the problem, statement of hypothesis, the significance of this study and scope and limitation of the study.
Background of the Study
The extent to which youth are labeled at-risk varies according to different authorities from psychology, education, sociology, and other fields (Astroh, 1993). Some authorities maintain that all youth are born at high risk (Glenn & Nelsen, 1988). Others estimate that one-quarter of 10-17 year olds are at-risk Dryfoos, 1990). In more recent development, the number of youth in their high-risk years who commit offenses will increase: by 2010, 10- to 14-year-old juvenile offenders are projected to increase by about 6 percent, while ages 15 to 19 are expected to increase nearly 20 percent Brown & Sevcik, 1999).Effective at-risk youth programs begin with determining who are going to be served. It is through them that programs determine the kinds of designs that are most appropriate for at-risk youth and the policies needed to support an effective high performance youth training system.
According to Astroh (1993), broad generalizations about youth can detract from targeted efforts to address real-not perceived-problems in local communities. The loose definition of at-risk youth refers to those youth most likely to fail in school and the labor market. Furthermore, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act adopted by Congress defines "youth at risk" as a youth at risk of educational failure or dropping out of school or involvement in delinquent activities (Brown & Sevcik, 1999).More specifically, there are some methods in defining at-risk youth such as the Group Characteristics and the Skill Levels (Center for Human Resources, 1993). In the first method, at-risk population is defined in terms of demographic characteristics—having low income, being black or Hispanic, having dropped out of school, or receiving welfare. More recently, behavioral characteristics such as court-involvement, teen parenting and substance abuse have been identified as additional risk factors. At-risk youth, then, are frequently defined in terms of a list of characteristics, or combinations of characteristics (CHR, 1993).
Many states depend exclusively on these kinds of demographic indicators to define the at-risk population, because of the strong research base (CHR, 1993). However, the major drawback to using only group characteristics is that when used in planning, they tend to mask the real skill issues that need to be addressed (CHR, 1993).
The Skill Levels approach defines at-risk youth in terms of specific skill deficits or levels of employability; it focuses much more specifically on skills which can be matched up more directly with employer expectations (CHR, 1993). However, some practitioners argue that a purely skill-based definition fails to take into account important social and cultural barriers to Employment (CHR, 1993). To address this problem, CHR (1993) comes up with a "hybrid" definition. Here, one might define at-risk youth as those who are dropouts, or minorities, or teen parents and who lack specific educational and/or work skills. The purpose of a hybrid definition is to gain the advantages of the skill approach - that is, targeting those with clearly specified employment skill needs while formally recognizing some of the social factors that exacerbate the risks of failure in the labor market (CHR, 1993). By including demographic and/or social characteristics, the hybrid approach may also make it easier for youth serving agencies to develop common definitions.
To meet the needs of at-risk youth, the community needs to respond by developing intervention services...
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