ERIC Number: ED472358
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Building a Better Teenager: A Summary of "What Works" in Adolescent Development. American Teens Series. Child Trends Research Brief.
Moore, Kristin Anderson; Zaff, Jonathan F.
Although most American adolescents are psychologically, socially, and physically healthy, adolescence remains a time of considerable change and risk. To examine what works to promote well-being among America's adolescents, Child Trends reviewed contributing influences and programs that lead to positive behavior in seven areas: mental health, emotional well-being, educational adjustment and achievement, physical health and safety, reproductive health, social competency, and citizenship. This executive summary of Child Trends' American Teens series examined seven reviews based on more than 1,100 research articles to identify 10 findings to help program designers, policymakers, and parents promote positive adolescent development. The findings suggest that relationships are key to adolescent well-being. Parent-child interactions and bonding greatly influence adolescents' choices and attitudes; peer relationships are important; and siblings, teachers, and mentors can provide additional support. Supportive relationships seem to override lectures that tell teens what to do or not to do. The summary notes that program developers and policymakers should view adolescents as whole people, not just as students, patients, or delinquents, and not expect a "silver bullet" solution to improve teens' lives. They should work to engage teens, target desired outcomes, start when adolescents are young, and ensure that programs are well-implemented. Finally, those involved with youth need to overcome the tendency to think of youth solely in negative terms. (Contains 30 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adolescent Development, Adolescents, Adult Child Relationship, Child Health, Child Safety, Childhood Needs, Citizenship, Interpersonal Competence, Mental Health, Parent Child Relationship, Peer Relationship, Program Development, Public Policy, Sexuality, Sibling Relationship, Student Adjustment, Well Being, Youth Problems
Child Trends, Inc., 4301 Connecticut Ave., Suite 100, Washington, DC 20008. Tel: 202-362-5580; Fax: 202-362-5533; Web site: http://www.childtrends.org.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami, FL.
Authoring Institution: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC.