ERIC Number: ED345171
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Applying Humanistic Principles to the Treatment of Runaway and Throwaway Adolescents.
Moses, Caroline E.; Kopplin, David
The size of the runaway and throwaway population is alarming. Two primary reasons explain why programs for adolescent runaways have failed and each one is embedded historically in American culture. The first is that strict discipline and reform have been seen throughout history as the most appropriate manner by which to control youth. The second is the myth of the traditional American family as a supportive and enhancing environment for the growth of adolescents into mature adults. Three humanistic principles can be substituted for traditional values when perceptualizing throwaways and runaways. The first principle is recognizing human potential, the second is interpreting behavior through a family systems model, and the third is facilitating autonomy and moral development through responsible decision making. These three humanistic principles challenge traditional assumptions about the treatment of youth at a fundamental level. This model assumes that adolescents can acquire the metacognitive abilities that will enable them to survive adaptively on the street. The shift in perspective is not subtle and it will not be sufficient for an agency to recognize only one or two aspects of this approach for all three are essential to avoid a model of coercion and victim blame. If these principles are implemented and adhered to, adolescents will develop adaptive rather than destructive skills and self-schemas which will allow them to become psychologically healthy, well-adjusted adults. (ABL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association (38th, Austin, TX, April 16-18, 1992).