This chapter describes the interacting forces, understanding the self, identity and emotions. It examines adolescent self and identity, which will serve as a basis for understanding much about the social and emotional world of adolescents. The adolescent years bring with them the long process of departing childhood and emerging into adulthood. Similar to many aspects of development during adolescence that proceed somewhat differently based on gender, males and females differ in the process of self-exploration and identity formation as well. Sexual experimentation is common during adolescence as part of this gender identity struggle. An inability to develop a mature ethnic identity may entail denying one’s culture of origin, whereas a healthy identity process may result in adolescents who are proud of both their culture of origin and the culture they find themselves in currently.
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This book is a comprehensive assessment of the school-to-prison pipeline and is intended for stakeholders, advocates, researchers, policy makers, educators, and students. It explains the serious problems that strict school discipline and tough-on-crime juvenile court policies have wrought on many students, disproportionately impacting some of our most vulnerable children and adolescents. The criminalization of education and school settings, along with fewer rehabilitative alternatives within the juvenile courts, has created the pipeline and also made the problems significantly worse. The book is unique in both its breadth of coverage and incorporation of empirical knowledge from the fields of education, juvenile justice/criminology, sociology/social work, and psychology to synthesize the impact and possible solutions to the entrenched school-to-prison pipeline. It explains that although there was a crossover impact between these two child- and adolescent caring systems, the punitive movements were both independent and interdependent. The increased use of zero-tolerance policies and police in the schools has exponentially increased arrests and referrals to the juvenile courts. Similarly, in the juvenile justice system, a movement toward harsher penalties and a tough-on-crime approach more than doubled the number of adolescents adjudicated delinquent and brought under court supervision. The book presents the common risk factors that make it more likely for students to be involved in punitive school and juvenile court systems. It explores who is disproportionately involved and why this may be occurring for the following child and adolescent groups: impoverished families; those of color; trauma and maltreatment victims; those with special education disabilities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).