The "At Risk" Adolescent: A Review of Historical Perspectives and Emerging Trends
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This paper reviews professional perspectives and general institutional policies regarding services for youth deemed to be “at risk”. Views with regard to the at-risk adolescent population have evolved over the past 50 years. In part these changes are the result of a shift from a mechanistic world view to a more systemic world view. Research has validated some of these approaches over others, and seems to confirm that the more successful efforts are those emerging from a systemic perspective. Analysis strongly suggests that a strategy of continued marginalization of risk groups will result in reduced social and psychological benefit, and even outright harm.