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Adolescence, Risk and Resilience: Against the Odds

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Adolescence is often portrayed as an age of particular risk. Adolescents are not only considered a risk to themselves, but also to the rest of society, through antisocial behaviour, teenage pregnancy, and social exclusion. As a society we are nervous of them, and consider them vulnerable, yet the seeds of successful and independent adult life are laid down in adolescence a Adolescence is often portrayed as an age of particular risk. Adolescents are not only considered a risk to themselves, but also to the rest of society, through antisocial behaviour, teenage pregnancy, and social exclusion. As a society we are nervous of them, and consider them vulnerable, yet the seeds of successful and independent adult life are laid down in adolescence and they need all the help and support that they can get at a challenging time. This book looks in depth at some of the key risks faced by adolescents, and at some of the ways in which they can be alleviated. Some children are more resilient than others, even if they experience the same patterning of risk factors. Practitioners can aim to help families and other agencies to foster and bolster protective factors in the young peoples' lives. Key adults in the family can perhaps become mentors and thus substitute for shortfalls in parenting. While it is often a source of stress and exclusion, education also has a role in providing positive experiences and much needed structure. Researchers have also highlighted the importance of turning points, such as moving out of a neighbourhood, which may interrupt the flow from risk factors to poor outcomes. We can begin to untangle some of the knock on effects that act to increase risk, and doing this brings opportunities for intervention.


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Adolescence is often portrayed as an age of particular risk. Adolescents are not only considered a risk to themselves, but also to the rest of society, through antisocial behaviour, teenage pregnancy, and social exclusion. As a society we are nervous of them, and consider them vulnerable, yet the seeds of successful and independent adult life are laid down in adolescence a Adolescence is often portrayed as an age of particular risk. Adolescents are not only considered a risk to themselves, but also to the rest of society, through antisocial behaviour, teenage pregnancy, and social exclusion. As a society we are nervous of them, and consider them vulnerable, yet the seeds of successful and independent adult life are laid down in adolescence and they need all the help and support that they can get at a challenging time. This book looks in depth at some of the key risks faced by adolescents, and at some of the ways in which they can be alleviated. Some children are more resilient than others, even if they experience the same patterning of risk factors. Practitioners can aim to help families and other agencies to foster and bolster protective factors in the young peoples' lives. Key adults in the family can perhaps become mentors and thus substitute for shortfalls in parenting. While it is often a source of stress and exclusion, education also has a role in providing positive experiences and much needed structure. Researchers have also highlighted the importance of turning points, such as moving out of a neighbourhood, which may interrupt the flow from risk factors to poor outcomes. We can begin to untangle some of the knock on effects that act to increase risk, and doing this brings opportunities for intervention.

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