Getting out of trouble: understanding developmental pathways from early adolescence to adulthood
Burgoyne, Kathleen Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
This comparative case study describes the development, from childhood to early adulthood, of eight people who were failing in school and involved in criminal activity during early adolescence. At age twenty-five: three respondents were thriving; three were struggling to live independently, and two share characteristic with both groups.There are subtle yet important differences in circumstances and conditions in which the respondents grew up, and these differences influenced their developmental trajectories. All of the respondents were exposed to multiple environmental and personal risk factors. However, this did not, in and of itself, prevent them from thriving in early adulthood. Instead, it appears to be the cumulative weight of multiple, violent, exploitive childhood experiences, particularly exposure to domestic violence and child abuse, and multiple personal problems, particularly difficulties with addiction and psychiatric disorders, that weighed down the struggling respondents' ability to overcome the challenges they faced.The interrelationship between oppression and risk factors is complex. In several of the respondents' stories racism and sexism appear to create, facilitate, or augment the role of risk factors. Sometimes what is perceived, as a behavior problem by mainstream standards may be an attempt to establish a particular racial or gender identity. It may be that issues of power and domination undergird many risk factors.Some of the differences in the respondents' development can also be attributed to differences in the kinds of opportunities the respondents were given, the degree to which their capabilities were noticed and encouraged, and the kind of support or nurturance they received. Each of the thriving respondents had close relationships with at least two people who made a significant commitment of time and resources them. These individuals attended to their particular needs, encouraged their coping efforts and competence, and helped them to define themselves as valuable and capable. The African American respondents felt more comfortable accepting support and guidance from people who shared their cultural background and life experiences.
- Education - Seattle