ERIC Number: ED393051
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug-15
Reference Count: N/A
Promoting Agency among Children and Adolescents at the Margins.
Moffett, Patrick Sean
Founded in response to the needs of children left homeless in Italy in the wake of World War II, Boys' and Girls' Towns have become international communities of children and adolescents separated from their families or homelands because of domestic violence, famine, war or other forms of social upheaval. The towns have been less subject to many of the trends in social policy that significantly transformed and eventually closed most of the larger institutions for homeless children Challenged with responsibility for themselves and for the building up of the community, the young people of the towns have produced a constitutional government which continues to evolve; a financial system with taxes, savings accounts, fines and unemployment insurance; a judicial system with trials, a penal code, bar exams, lawyers, and public defenders; and commissioners of public works, sanitation, and labor. Based on personal observation, this paper presents a psychological perspective on the Boys' Town of Rome's citizens response to the numerous challenges they face, and invites reflection on their capacity to be agents in their own development. Examples are presented to illustrate forms of motivation related to propriate striving, personal causation, Locus of Control, perceived self-efficacy, resiliency, and agency. A detailed "Gradient of Belonging" is appended. Contains 16 references. (RB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Agency Theory; Boys Town Urban Program; Italy
Note: Invited Address presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 15, 1995).