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most important part of this class

Peer acceptance is key!

What stage are adolescents in Erikson's 8 Life Stages?

Stage 5, Identity vs. Role Confusion

Deffered Gratification

putting off tomorrow what can't be done today

Future Orientation

Grasp of the future

Early Adolescence

12-14 yrs old. Still struggles with identity. Puberty hits at this time

Late Adolescence

17-19 yrs old. More stability, more on the way to becoming an adult

Factors of an At-Risk society

Poverty, African/American and Latino kids are disproportionately poor, violent youth crime in evening, higher teen pregnancy rates, males born to teen moms are 13% more likely to become teen parents, 22% of females are also more likely to become teen moms. Continuum- minimal, remote, high, imminent, and AT RISK

Definition of At-Risk

A set of presumed cause-effect dynamics that place an individual child or adolescent in danger of future negative outcomes. At risk designates a situation that is not necessarily current, but that can be anticipated in the absence of intervention.

Minimal Risk

Positive family, school, and social interaction. Favorable demographics. Limited stressors. (Remember, no such thing as a perfect family.)

Remote Risk

Negative demographics. Less positive family, school, and social interactions. Some stressors.

High Risk

Negative family, school, social interaction. Numerous stressors. Development of personal at-risk markers such as negative attitude, emotions, and skill deficiencies.

Imminent Risk

All signs of remote and high risk plus the start of gateway behaviors and activities.

At risk category

All signs of imminent, remote, and high risk and also at risk for more intense maladaptive behavior. Young person's activity places him or her solidly in the at-risk category. Young person's children will be at risk.

Cause or Effect?

Issues correlate, but are not necessarily the cause or effect. Issues aren't usually isolated, they are clustered together. People are also not isolated. They tend to cluster too.

Soil of At-Risk Tree

Aspects of the environment, SES, political realities, economic climate, cultural factors

Roots of At-Risk Tree

Family, school, Peer groups.

Trunk of At-Risk Tree

Support and conduit from the soil and roots to the leaves, blossoms, and fruits. Specific behaviors, attitudes, and skills of the individual. Looks at examples of strengths vs. weaknesses in adolescents

Branches of at-Risk Tree

Adaptation to society. Is the fruit damaged or undamaged? (E.g. high school dropout, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, delinquency and violence, suicide)

Foliage, Fruit, and Flowers of Tree

Some healthy branches produce damaged or bruised fruit, and some unhealthy branches produce good fruit.

Gardener of Tree

Social workers and health care professionals- they nurture, prune, trim, stake, and water the tree.

Ecological Model

3 Assumptions: Individuals and their environment are continually interacting, and as such, are constantly changing. Individuals are active participants in their environments. Bi-directionality- changes in one ecological system influence change in other systems that may be further from the individual.

Individual Ecological Systems

Cognitive factors, biological mechanisms, resiliency


Family, school, friends, church


Relationships among microsystems


Public policy, political structures


Poverty, social norms, gender roles, cultural values

Environmental Issues of At-Risk Societies

Poverty- most closely associated with family stress and school failure. Welfare reform and the stagnation of the working poor are also big issues.

Social Toxicity of Violence

Exposure to violence, racism, etc. Causes everything to run in a cycle.

Statistic on Child Poverty in America

17% (13 million children) live in poverty, 1 in 3 will live in poverty at some point in their lifetime

People of Color Poverty Statistic

Are disproportionately poor- 28% of Latinos, >31% of all African-Americans live in poverty. If you're under 6 yrs old, it's even worse.

How does SES become a risk factor?

If a low SES is combined with a person of color, then they are at risk. A child's SES is the highest predictor of how well off the kid will be in the future.

How do SES and health relate to each other?

Impoverished families have a higher risk of health problems and more likely to have neonatal damage, underweight births, malnourishment, vision/hearing problems, and untreated childhood illnesses. Less $, more problems.

Divorce Rates

Are currently stable. 23% of American children live in mother-only homes.

Erosion of Extended family/Loss of Community

Grandparents, family friends, aunts/uncles, church family, etc. used to raise our kids- now those people are either disconnected or they raise the kids in the event of the death of a parent. We turn instead to TV, music, media, cell phones, computers to raise our kids now, and this is a problem.

Closed Family

Dysfunction due to isolation from environment, less receptive to external stimuli, unresponsive to change, move towards increasing disorder. Can lead to detachment or enmeshment.

Open Family

Interact with the environment, adaptation, and flexibility


Boundaries are rigid, family members function separately, little support in times of stress, social/emotional needs are unable to be met within the family, creates youth that struggle with relationships


Weak boundaries, members are overly involved, children have a distorted sense of belonging, don't develop autonomy and individuality. family often rescues each other, children take the parenting role, and also may have difficulty with peers.

Child Rearing Practices

Permissiveness/Restrictiveness, Hostility/Warmth, Anxious/Calm. 8 possible combos, best viewed as a continuum

Do we spend as much on education as we do on prisons?

HELL NO. Very disproportionate.

Single most effective thing in a school?

TEACHERS and the relationships they establish

Tipping Point

the difference between doing well and doing poorly


Those who demonstrate a good outcome in spite of high risk, sustained competence under stress, and recovery from trauma

Contributing factors to Resilience

Social environment, family, individual characteristics

Individual Characteristics of Resilient Youth

good verbal communication, social skills, positive relationships with others, internal locus of control, impulse control, reflectiveness, positive self-regard, sense of humor, ability to delay gratification, future orientation

5 Cs of Competency

Critical school competencies, concept of self, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, connectedness, coping ability, and control

Ethics Code for Social workers in Texas

Occupations Code- Texas Law for the Social Worker. Includes licensing regulations, complaints, subpoenas, and internet usage regarding informed consent, confidentiality, and rules

Most Important Ethical Rule


Substance Use

drugs used legally and responsibly and is not generally considered a problem. When in an adolescent context, all use is considered a problem.

Substance Abuse

Generally termed a problem.

Stat on cigarette deaths

Cigarette smoking is estimated to account for more than 430,000 premature deaths each year.

Stat on how many high schoolers use alcohol

50% of high school seniors regularly use alcohol, 26% binge drink

Substance dependence


Highest At-Risk group for drug use

LGBTQ adolescents- more than 1/3 are frequent drug users, and more than 1/3 likely to engage in poly-substance abuse

Common Characteristics of Users

Family, peer influence, individual behavior, personality characteristics

Peer Cluster Theory

can influence a teen to use or not based on what their friend group's opinion on drugs are. Can predict the age of initial onset of drug use

Personal Characteristics of Drug Use

could be related to psychic pain (pervasive self-criticism and chronic sense of failure) or inability to cope. Poor coping skills lead to self medication. Pleasure seekers, rebelliousness, nontraditionalism, tolerance for deviance, adventuresomeness, need for excitement are all factors. Can lead to cognitive dissonance, personal attribution.

Teen Pregnancy Rates

Highest in the south and in places that teach abstinence-only. 750,000 women aged 15-19 become pregnant each year. 2/3 of these pregnancies are between 18-19 yrs old. 7 out of 100 teens, or 7% nationally. 82% are unplanned, and 59% end in birth, 26% in abortion, 14% in adoption. AG will let them test up to 3 men to determine paternity if needed.


A reaction to a loss

Kubler-Ross 5 Stages of Grief

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance


You can't believe that the death is happening


Anger at person who died, or anger at someone else such as God, doctors, etc.


Dying person or family/friends of dying person bargains and attempts to get more time


being in such an intense state of grief that the bereaved do not feel that they can go on, and start to take on symptoms of clinical depression


Ideal Stage. Acceptance of death and moving on with their lives.

Types of Death

Long term illness, sudden illness, violent suicide, violent homicide, sudden accident

Relationship to the Deceased

this affects the teen b/c of how they process different relationships, e.g "You can always get another wife, but I'll never have another mother"

Inappropriate Responses to Death

Depends on the situation. Stay away from religion, I know how you feel, That happened a long time ago, etc. Common sense stuff mostly.

Appropriate Things to Say

Let the grieving person know you are there for them, say things that are true and nice that you remember about the deceased, let them know you are truly sorry for their loss, ask them if there is anything you can do to help them

Role of Religion and Ritual in Grieving Process

Find out what the kid's religious views on death are, and if they acknowledge those beliefs, discuss them with them!

Dealing with Change in Grief Process

Remarriage, new house, dinner table placement, driving the student to school, vacation spots, eating different foods, fighting, nighttime rituals, sporting, events, loss of income, etc.

Grief Reactions

Mental, Physical, Social. Common sense- less enthusiasm, shorter attention span, etc.

Grief Reemergence

Death of someone different, important occasions, anniversary of death, holidays, birthdays, concern for future occasions

Warning Signs of Unchecked Grief

Destructive behavior, too much independence, depression, early sexual activity, too much responsibility, stealing, substance abuse, stuck in an early developmental stage, difficulty in relationships, school phobia, increased aggression or fighting, risk-taking, over-identification with special person

3rd leading cause of death among teens


Suicide rates

3x as many females than males attempt, 3x as many men are successful. Latinos have a higher rate than European American youth. AA men are low, and AA women have the lowest suicide rate. Native Americans have the highest rate. LGBTQ ranges from 20-42%. They are 2-3x more likely to commit suicide and constitute 30% of ALL youth suicides.

Risk Factors of Suicide

Substance abuse, under/overachievement, catastrophic worldview, negative media, cluster suicides, disruptive family experiences, minimal family interaction, violent families, poor communication, loss/separation, self-image, anger, loneliness, impulsivity, depression/hopelessness,harmful thinking patterns

Suicide Motivations

self punishment to deal with guilt, absolution for past behaviors, perverted revenge, retaliatory abandonment, fantasy of omnipotence, cry for help

Warning Signs of Suicide

Mood swings, change from happy to withdrawn, apathy, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in appetites, gives away prized possessions, decline in productivity, increase in truancy, more acting out in class, possible drug/alcohol use, higher levels of social activity

Suicide Assessment

Interviews for lethality-like a mental checkup on how long the suicidal thoughts have occurred, etc. Treatment referral, referral follow-up, support systems in place

Middle School Social Work

Still stage 5, very moody. Still influenced by peer group. Anxiety, eating problems, and rudeness to parents start at this age. Worth the wait and other forms of sex ed start to be taught at this stage.

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