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Youth Culture Development - negative, influencial factor


sarahmk 22 / 55  
Aug 7, 2008   #1
Hello! How r u? I had to write a essay dealing with one aspect of youth culture. My thesis is: The most negative, influential factor in the development of youth culture is lack of parental involvement.

My paper is primarily based on these five questions:
1. What is keeping parents from being involved in their children's lives?

2. Why are their so many single parent homes?

3. What are youth turning to, to fill the void of parental involvement?

4. What are the effects and consequences youth face because of these alternative substitutions?

5. What can be done for those youth who lack the necessary parental involvement?

Can you let me know if its good? Help with any spelling or grammar, or sentence structure errors? And let me know if i had should add anything, or change anything up. Also if it flows and if the paragraphs are connected and linked? Thanks soooo much

Parents and guardians are the first and most important teachers in their children's lives. From birth, children develop primarily through watching and learning adult's actions, and continuing to mock their behavioural patterns well into adolescency. The response to positive parental influences can be extremely beneficial as children grow and become young adults. On the other end of the stick, lack of parental involvement can reap a variety of negative factors, and are the most influential in the development of youth culture. When parents are not fully engaged in their children's lives, it causes a feeling of abandonment and loss of stability. Dr. Wolfe, a psychologist in children's mental health and development, claims that "Parental supervision is recognized as a key factor that can moderate adolescent problem behaviour" (camh.net/tips_for_parents_teens.html). So what happens when your take parental involvement out of the equation, and the youth are forced to create their own idea of life by other influences in their environment?

It seems in today's society with high living expenses, gas prices soaring, and the frequent urge to keep up with the Joneses, all people have time for is to work and earn money. Women are now, more then ever, a large percent of the working class and stay at home mothers seem to be vanishing more and more because of economic issues. In the past, fathers were considered the breadwinners and the sole financial providers for their families, while mothers took on the homemaker roles. Now a days, both parents are required to work because two incomes are necessary to live comfortably. Unfortunately, with both parents working it leaves no one to be involved in children's lives as much as there should be. The youth is suffering drastically, primarily because of parents too busy making a living to raise their children. Youth coming from single parent homes are at an even bigger disadvantage. A 2007 census done by CBC news showed that "there are more than 2.1 million children living in lone-parent homes." Lone parents undoubtedly suffer financially the most. "In 2005, the median household income for two-parent families in Canada was $67,600. For lone-parent families, it was $30,000" (cbc.ca/news/yourview/2007/09/number_of _singleparent_familie.html). That's more than half a difference.

With no parental guidance and these youth feeling the deepest neglect, a lot of kids turn to negative influences in an attempt to cry out for attention. They take on a rebellious nature and engage in such things as sex, drugs, crime and violence, and anything else that will draw attention to themselves by parents or other adult authority figures. Gang violence has been a growing issue with youth all over Canada and the U.S.A. Young adults lack the attention they deserve from busy, working parents and crave a connection with people. Joining a gang gives them the recognition and belonging they never had and they develope an over-reliance on social peers. The National Crime Prevention Centre of the Public Safety Canada, suggests "that the most important risk factor for gang involvement includes poor parental supervision" (publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/cp/bldngevd/2007-yg-2-en.asp).

Women growing up with displaced fathers have no male influence and have the void of a man's love. These young women sometimes develope a promiscuous pattern and turn to males to engage in sexual behaviour. Some go as far to turn to the streets to look for "love," or like Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D, claims, "Other women may choose another route, falling in love with an older man and thus marrying 'daddy' " (trans4mind.com/counterpoint/kortsch4.shtml). Whichever way they are effected, they all have the commonality of immense psychological issues directly derived from being fatherless. Another directly stemmed problem is teen pregnancy. An article on the New Science website suggests absent fathers are linked to females becoming pregnant at an early age. "Numerous studies show that girls reach puberty younger, become sexually active earlier, and are more likely to get pregnant in their teens if their father was absent from the home from when they were young" (newscientist.com/article/dn3724-absent-fathers-l inked-to-teenage-pregnancies.html).

Drug problems plague youth the most because they are the most vulnerable. Young men and women who lack parental involvement are particularily susceptible to the allure of drugs as a way to cope with their feelings. Drugs are a way to escape the reality of the youth's lack of interpersonal relationships with those they love. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health states that families with disruptions, such as "family management," are vital influences to youth. "The structure or make-up of a family can have an effect on the stressors that impact family members, as can the strength of the extended family network and their involvement in a youth's life" (camh.net/education/Resources_teachers_schools/Dr ug_Curriculum/Secondary/curriculum_riskprotect.html). Without proper parental counseling, youth are likely to use their inexperienced judgment and rely on drugs to shape themselves. The National Anti-Drug Strategy for the Government of Canada, highly encourages to "Stay engaged with your teenager's life" and "Keep track of what they are doing and when" (nationalantidrugstrategy.gc.ca/parents/parents.html) .

Joseph A. Wickliffe, a Yale-New Haven Institute teacher, believes family culture plays a big role in youth delinquincy. "The family influence on roles and norms which juveniles follow comes through the socialization process that the individual experiences as part of the family culture" (yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/2/00..02.07.x.html#e). A one parent home lacks guidance and can sometimes have a tendency to cause irratic violent and criminal behaviour in youth. Minimal or no parental involvement can be distressing, causing youth to become resentful and compress their negative emotions, resulting in a lash out contributing to delinquent behaviour and criminal offences overall.

When youth turn to illegal substances and crime, they will always be reprimanded and face the serious consequences of their actions. The violent crime rate among youth rose 12% over the last decade, and it's unfortunate to say but once a youth faces a criminal charge, many are known to re-offend. Parental involvement and positive reinforcement is the key to ensuring youth do not go down the wrong path and face a life of mental health issues, crime, and punishment. The list of effects from lack of parental involvement goes on and on. Youth will face a life of sadness, rage, and corruption well into the adult life if parents do not get more involved in their children's lives at an early age and take preventative measures now before it is too late. Youth will grow up with tainted personal relationships and thus become violent to their spouses and children resulting in a chain of never ending abuse. Their abandonment can lead them to end up on the streets, homeless and hopeless. Worst case scenario, these youth will end up dead, having succumbed to the gang violence they once leaned on for support in their times of need. Substance abuse can also result in death or can be very damaging to one's health and well being. Marijuana can cause lung damage, alcohol abuse can cause liver damage and people who inject drugs are at risk at getting infections such as hepatitis or even HIV. They become so dependent it takes over their lives. Health Canada says, "Many people who use drugs come to believe that they cannot function normally without drugs" dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/collection_2008/statcan/85 -002-X/85-002-XIE2008003.pdf), so besides the obvious physical health issues, there are a variety of mental health problems stemming from substance abuse that can have either short-term or long-term effects starting from memory loss to anxiety to depression.

There is no doubt that something must be done to save the youth of today. It is clear that not enough parent/child communication and relationships, are solely accountable for the negative behavioural problems our youth culture face today. If we, as a society, do not realize and act on the outcry from the generations of young adults, we will reap the reprocussions. We need to impliment change by teaching knowledge and awareness to parents everywhere and lending a hand to all those who have one out for help. We need to show these young adults and their parents how to have mutual love and understanding relationships with one another and help these parents to include them into their lives as much as possible and put them in the centre of all they do. Supporting parents who are unable to spend the quality time needed with their own children, by starting after school programs with positive parental guidance to substitute what these children are lacking at home is a good start. Petitioning government officials to give better benefits to single moms so they are not forced to work three jobs in order to support their families and never spend that vital quality time with the youth. Disadvantaged teens need examples to go by through schools and the community. All these things are required to allow the youth to experience the attention and time they need to become a productive member of society. We must empower youth through action.



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