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The Promises and Pitfalls of Youth Mentoring Programs

Youth Mentoring Is A Popular, Cost-Effective Intervention, And We Need To Be Realistic About What It Can And Can’t Do.

Youth mentoring relationships are formed between young people and caring, non-parent adults. Enthusiasm for mentoring – from researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public alike – has exploded over the past two decades, resulting in a rapid expansion in the size and number of mentoring programs. These programs, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, typically seek to match adult volunteers with a young person (often designated as “at risk”) who needs a positive adult role model. At a given time, mentoring programs are serving an estimated 4.5 million children and adolescents in the U.S.

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Parent-Child Separation at the Border: Let’s Talk about the Teenagers

Being Forcibly Separated From Your Parents Is Traumatic. These Are The Effects Teenagers Often Experience.

There are currently hundreds of migrant children and adolescents who were forcibly taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, and most of them are currently being detained in hastily-made, spartan holding facilities. This policy has been met with outrage by politicians and citizens alike, many of who have expressed concern about the effect even a temporary parental separation might have on young people. It almost goes without saying that being forcibly taken from parents, with no knowledge of if or when you will see them again, is deeply traumatic. From developmental and psychological perspectives, what makes familial separation so harmful for teenagers?

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Talking about conflict with parents: Five observations and two questions

Adolescence is frequently portrayed as a time of increasing parent-child conflict, thanks in large parts to the roles played by G. Stanley Hall and Anna Freud.  As adolescents and their parents actively negotiate new roles, responsibilities, values, and expectations on the way to adulthood, parents also tend to disclose more personal information with their soon-to-be-adult adolescents than with younger children.  However, parent-adolescent conflict, even in small doses, can be distressing to children and is associated with emotional distress and unhappiness. 

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