ERIC Number: ED253388
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Growing Up Means Moving Away: Developmental Dilemma for the Rural Adolescent.
Donaldson, Gordon A., Jr.
Current developmental theory and research are inadequate in explaining the development of rural youth, but a mid-1970s study of adolescents from a small Maine community provided three patterns of growth and suggested four lessons for social service professionals who work with rural adolescents. The study of "Sawyer, Maine" (a pseudonym) attempted to documet the manner in which youth view adulthood and their own movement toward it by focusing on 46 youth between the ages of 17 and 24. Major themes for the age span included high school, work, marriage, and the community. Three growth patterns emerged which could be offered as abstracted and "purified" developmental paths--about 50% of the youth were "traditional," 40% were "modern-achieving," and about 10% were "questioning." Those who work with rural youth should (1) learn four lessons about the distinctiveness of rural community membership: a single conception of development violates the integrity and diversity of rural peoples and cultures; (2) learn to differentiate among youth, their aspirations, and the models they draw upon in defining adulthood; (3) remember small community membership has an immense influence on individual development; and (4) work towards ways to bridge the worlds of native rural communities and rural America without denegrating one or the other. (BRR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Developmental Theory; Maine
Note: Revision of a paper presented at the National/Second International Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas (9th, Orono, ME, July 28-31, 1984).