Youth Development and Neighborhood Influences

Challenges and Opportunities Summary of a Workshop

Rosemary Chalk and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors

Committee on Youth Development

Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

Institute of Medicine

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1996



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--> Youth Development and Neighborhood Influences Challenges and Opportunities Summary of a Workshop Rosemary Chalk and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors Committee on Youth Development Board on Children, Youth, and Families Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council Institute of Medicine NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.1996

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ISBN 0-309-5649-7 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lock Box 285, Washington, DC 20055 Call 1-800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). This report is also available on-line at http://www.nap.edu Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> COMMITTEE ON YOUTH DEVELOPMENT JOMILLS BRADDOCK (Chair), Department of Sociology, University of Miami DAVID V.B. BRITT, Children's Television Workshop, New York LINDA MARIE BURTON, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University DELBERT S. ELLIOTT, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado at Boulder OTIS S. JOHNSON, Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority, Savannah, Georgia IRIS LITT, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center MILBREY MCLAUGHLIN, School of Education, Stanford University TIMOTHY SANDOS, Government Affairs, TCI Central, Inc., Denver, Colorado RALPH SMITH, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland ROSEMARY CHALK, Staff Director KAREN AUTREY, Project Assistant

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--> BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES SHELDON H. WHITE (Chair), Department of Psychology, Harvard University JACK P. SHONKOFF (Vice Chair), Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University DAVID V.B. BRITT, Children's Television Workshop, New York LARRY BUMPASS, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin FERNANDO A. GUERRA, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District BERNARD GUYER, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins University ALETHA C. HUSTON, Department of Human Ecology, University of Texas at Austin RENEE JENKINS, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Howard University Hospital SARA MCLANAHAN, Office of Population Research, Princeton University ROBERT MICHAEL, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago PAUL NEWACHECK, Institute of Health Policy Studies and Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco MARTHA PHILLIPS, The Concord Coalition, Washington, D.C. JULIUS B. RICHMOND, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University Medical School TIMOTHY M. SANDOS, Government Affairs, TCI Central, Inc., Denver, Colorado DEBORAH STIPEK, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles DIANA TAYLOR, Women's Health Program, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco GAIL WILENSKY, Project Hope, Bethesda, Maryland EVAN CHARNEY (Liaison), Institute of Medicine Council RUTH T. GROSS (Liaison), Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine ELEANOR E. MACCOBY (Liaison), Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education DEBORAH A. PHILLIPS, Director ROSEMARY CHALK, Deputy Director ANNE BRIDGMAN, Program Officer for Communications DRUSILLA BARNES, Administrative Associate

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--> Contents  Preface vii  Summary 1  Introduction 3  The Charge to the Committee 5  Shifting Perspectives: The Problem with Problem Orientations 7  The Influence of Social Settings on Youth Development 9  Assessing Change and Development Within Neighborhoods 16  The Need for Informed Conversations Between Research and Practice 21  Next Steps 24  References 27  Appendix: Workshop Participants 29

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--> Preface Today's youth live and develop in a society that offers tremendous choices and challenges during the formative period of adolescence. The adolescent's environment is shaped profoundly by the presence or absence of many different factors, including family resources, community services, and educational and employment opportunities. In the past few decades, a body of social and behavioral research has emerged that seeks to explain why some adolescents successfully navigate their social settings, while others who are similarly situated adopt "risky" lifestyles characterized by drug use, unprotected sexual behavior, dropping out of school, delinquency, gang membership, and violence. During the same period, community leaders have experimented with a wide variety of approaches designed to improve the quality of life for all community residents, including the creation of social settings that are supportive of youth—schools, recreation centers, job training programs, and others. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has contributed to these efforts by sponsoring community-based programs to enhance social and economic opportunities for adolescents as they develop to adulthood. At the request of ACF, the Committee on Youth Development of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families (which operates under the joint auspices of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine) convened a one-day workshop in January 1996. Chaired by Jomills Braddock, professor of sociology at the University of Miami, the committee developed the workshop to review the research literature on social settings and youth development, as well as selected experiences with community youth service programs. Meeting participants included research scientists, service pro-

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--> viders, and representatives of public and private agencies that seek to improve outcomes for youth. The purpose of the workshop, titled "Youth Development and Neighborhood Influences," was to focus attention on what is known about environmental influences that interact with youth characteristics, family factors, and peer influences to foster or inhibit successful outcomes for adolescents. Consideration was also given to subsequent activities that would foster fledgling collaborations among those who develop, fund, and study initiatives aimed at improving youth outcomes. Based on the workshop discussions, this report represents an exploratory effort to describe the processes by which communities and families interact during periods of adolescent development. This report also represents an important step in the evolution of the work of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families. It builds on the recommendations made in Losing Generations (National Research Council, 1993) and observations noted in Violence in Urban America (National Research Council, 1994). This project provides an important resource for the formation of the board's new Forum on Adolescence, which will continue to broaden the board's scope of work into the teenage years. In seeking to combine the worlds of science, policy, and practice, the board aims to extend the emerging portfolio of research and program efforts that are focused on adolescent behavior and, in particular, to improve existing relationships between those who study how adolescents interact with their communities and those who are engaged in efforts to improve youth outcomes. Many individuals have contributed to this report of the Committee on Youth Development. The report benefitted enormously from the insightful comments provided by the workshop participants, who are listed at the end of this volume. The committee expresses its deep appreciation to them. The contributions of Rosemary Chalk, staff director of the committee, and Karen Autrey, project assistant, are particularly appreciated. Other staff members who contributed to this report include Deborah Phillips, director of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, and Anne Bridgman, program officer for communications. We also acknowledge the contributions of Janet Overton, whose editing improved the report. This report was funded by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We are grateful to Ann Rosewater, Howard Rolston, and Hossein Faris within ACF for their support and thoughtful contribution to this effort. We appreciate ACF engaging the board to help chart new approaches in the field of youth development that will encourage bold thinking about the directions this relatively young field should take. SHELDON H. WHITE, CHAIR BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES