Friday, 30 March 2012

The Effects of Neighbourhood on Adolescent Development

The number of studies concerned with the role of neighborhood in the adolescent development has been increasing recently. They show that some neighborhoods do not give any resources, while other provide a rich context for this development. The latter function more as a well-rounded whole, giving the opportunity to
adolescents to grow up with access to the world of adults who are not their parents and to research in a safe environment. It has been shown that the isolation of adolescents from adults other than family members can contribute to the failure in psychological maturation. Weakened social networks restrict the opportunity to some adolescents to use suitable adults for their own developmental needs. The lack of available persons with authority who also have empathic and containment capacities is particularly unfavorable for adolescents whose parents show deficient empathy and weak containment capacity on account of their personality traits or structure. This defect makes some adolescents very anxious in respect to impulse control on one hand, while on the other it fosters the development of rigid defenses. In adult period such persons may have problems with the expression of their authority at home and at work.

Some neighborhood represent extremely high risk contexts, with a high rate of violence, drug abuse and other problems which endanger the survival of young persons or at least increase the probability of their participation in problematic behavior.

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