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By William H. Quinn

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Extra info for Family Solutions for Youth at Risk: Applications to Juvenile Delinquency, Truancy, and Behavior Problems

Sample text

The explanation for most of the inconclusive evidence on at-risk, actingout youth rests on two factors. First, delinquency intervention research suffers from methodological problems. Most studies have had inadequate samples in both size and randomness of selection, inadequate outcome measures, insufficient attention to threats on internal and external validity, a lack of appropriate control groups, and, typical of many studies, inattention to follow-up. Unfortunately, many efforts to address delinquency problems have dissipated because results were inconclusive, despite the fact that many apparently mixed outcomes may have been due to methodological problems.

Qxd 8/4/04 11:54 AM Page 18 18 • Family Solutions for Youth at Risk applied to youth who have an established court record of some length that includes multiple offenses. Such an application would be premature until such time as substantial evaluation of intervention for these youth has been established. Data summarizing reports from several hundred juvenile first offenders and their parents pertaining to demographic, family, and community involvement are presented, including data related to school status, drug/alcohol status, family structure, family relationships, communication with parents, family functioning, school, community, and church involvement, and peer relationships and influences.

This is an important declaration, because too often interventions are aimed at youth in general without regard to age, problem behavior, or developmental trajectory. It is the view expressed in this book that youth who are first offenders are often at a critical juncture of their developmental trajectory. They may be “adolescent-limited” or “life course persistent” antisocial youth (Moffitt, 1994). An adolescent-limited youth might be one of whom the first offense is the one and only incident of offending behavior.

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