ERIC Number: ED425038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Endangered Children and Environmental Standards.
Barry, Frank; Gunn, Hazel Dayton
Community Development: Research Briefs & Case Studies, v4 n2 Sum 1996
Community-based prevention-oriented approaches that provide basic supports to families are needed to address rising rates of violence, child abuse, and other socially disruptive behavior. Weak families, weak neighborhoods, and weak economies are mutually reinforcing and lead to negative behaviors by youth and others. In proposing a community change strategy, a wildlife analogy of survival in marginal environments is used. The differences (survival of civilization versus preservation of a species or ecological system, and humans' ability to adapt) and similarities (life at the margins and multiple environmental stressors) are explained. A community evaluation study in New York showed that the highest (most urban) and lowest (most rural) population densities exhibited the highest statistical averages on stress indicators. However, some towns with high poverty levels ranked low on other stressors. The study findings reinforced the idea that the number of different risk factors a child faces can be more important than the level of any one type of risk. Key elements for a stable community include safety and security, economic opportunity, adequate and affordable housing, access to health care, good child care, integrated schools, after-school activities, constructive opportunities for youth, and support networks for parents. A community restoration plan, analogous to one used in wildlife preservation, is recommended. A sidebar describes a five-step environmental assessment tool. (SAS)
Descriptors: At Risk Persons, Change Strategies, Child Welfare, Childhood Needs, Community Development, Community Needs, Community Role, Disadvantaged Environment, Environmental Influences, Family Needs, Prevention, Social Biology, Social Environment, Social Problems, Stress Variables, Youth Problems
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY. Community and Rural Development Inst.