The deterioration of americas youth

Thomas Jefferson was a remarkable man — perhaps the most remarkable in all American history. His accomplishments were acknowledged by President John F. In the brief time we have together, I can only hope to spark your interest in learning more about this remarkable man.

The deterioration of americas youth

Summary Too many young African-Americans are destroying their lives either by suicide, homicide, or in fatal accidents. In the past 25 years, the overall suicide rate of African-American youth ages has more than doubled; males between ages 20 to 24 account for most of the increase.

The female rate increased from 1. The article has four goals: Methodological Issues Suicide is just one form of violent behavior that characterizes the self-destructive lifestyle of many low income, inner-city African-American youth.

The three leading causes of death for males ages are homicide, accidents, and suicide. These three types of violent death appear to be related. Many accidents may be intentional and many lethal confrontations with police may be deliberate.

Karen, a recent graduate of an Ivy League college, was having difficulty in deciding whether to work or return to graduate school. She could not communicate her ambivalent feelings toward whites or her self doubts to her parents.

She broke up with her boyfriend, withdrew from her friends, and argued constantly with her parents. Late one afternoon following a heated argument with her father, she was driving alone on the freeway when her car suddenly accelerated and crashed into a bridge abutment.

Karen was killed instantly on the eve of her 22nd birthday. Conceptual Perspectives Three conceptual perspectives may help explain the epidemic of suicide: The sociological approach is seen in the theory of Emile Durkheim The impact of the unstable environment for many African-American youth is extremely traumatic.

The ecological perspective suggests that youth suicide rates increase in proportion to the increase in age group population. Increase in competition for scarcer resources and opportunities leave youth vulnerable for suicidal behavior.

Sociocultural Factors Some sociocultural factors are positive and help prevent African-American youth from suicidal behavior. These protective elements include the strong family, the church, fraternal and social organizations, community schools, extended kin, and social support networks.

Still, other sociocultural factors add risk to the African-American youth: The suicide rate is higher for African-American males than for females.

The deterioration of americas youth

It is suggested that child rearing strategies may attribute to the difference. Males are disciplined more harshly, trained for independence earlier, and positively reinforced for aggression and sexuality. Females receive more nurturance, later independence training, and more reinforcement for academic training.

Assessment and Early Intervention Clinicians should focus on three aspects of assessment.

The deterioration of americas youth

First, African-American youth at risk are likely to be verbally abusive, report physical problems, act out and flounder in school, and have relationships with their peers that are filled with conflict.

Next, they may also be involved in persistent risk-taking, sexual responsibility, substance abuse, and delinquency.

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Finally, the life stress indicators should be examined loss of parent, poverty, frequent mobility, health problems, child abuse, and others.

It is important for doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, and others to be familiar with the indicators and symptoms that put youth at risk.

Clinics should be located in inner-city schools giving access to youth in need of counseling. Prevention services should be located in inner-city neighborhoods. Police and community relations need improvement.

Positive role models must be provided for youth whether at risk or not. Early intervention may help prevent some suicides. As long as there remains a wide gap between the American dream of success and the ability to realize that dream, African-American youth will remain at risk.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion Is the problem of suicide in African-American youth larger than perceived? Related to suicide, what is the impact of society on African-American youth? How can support networks for African-American youth be strengthened?

Can you identify the symptoms of an African-American youth at risk?The Guardian - Back to home.

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