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New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to new perspectives and scholarship in the field of child and adolescent development.
New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Influence of Childhood Adversity on Students’ Delinquent Activities: Interplay with Neighborhood Context and Delinquent Peer Association
Juvenile delinquency is often linked with various proximal family and environmental factors during a child’s upbringing. Richard Jessor’s problem behavior theory (PBT) emphasizes that a combined interplay of these factors may explain this phenomenon appropriately. This study employed the PBT framework to investigate the impact of family on students’ delinquency, considering the influence of neighborhood and delinquent peer association. A model was developed for analyzing the variables by structural equation modeling (SEM). Data were collected through interviews with 1026 students aged between 12 and 18 years from a child development center and eight educational institutes in Bangladesh. The findings revealed that family-level factors (adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and family deprivation) can significantly predict students’ delinquency directly and through the moderation effect of neighborhood-level variables (neighborhood social capital and neighborhood disorganization). Delinquent peer association exhibited a significant mediating role in the model. It could directly predict delinquency as well. The research has notable theoretical and practical implications for understanding the complex dynamics of family, neighborhood, and delinquent peer association in explaining students’ delinquency.
Evaluation of the Effect of Mental Health Education on Improving Adolescents’ Social Adaptability
Adolescence is the preparatory stage for young people to enter the society. Although teenagers are good at catering to the development trend of society, they are limited by age, growth environment, and other factors, and their cognition of society is too simple, resulting in poor social adaptability. This paper adopts control method and questionnaire survey to study the effect of mental health education on improving social adaptability of teenagers. A total of 712 adolescents from two schools in Beijing were selected for the study (, ). In addition, the age, gender, family environment, and growth environment of the youth were taken as the independent variables. The results showed that the social adaptability of adolescents and its subdimensions were significantly affected by age, family environment, and growth environment (), while gender had little effect on the overall social adaptability of adolescents (). After receiving mental health education, adolescents’ social adaptability has significantly improved, with statistical differences in self-adjustment ability, interpersonal adaptability, behavioral adaptability, and environmental adaptability as well as in all dimensions (), indicating that mental health education has obvious and comprehensive improvement effect on adolescents’ social adaptability. The social adaptability of adolescents is also affected by their own characteristics and growth background, which will further affect the effect of mental health education on the improvement of the social adaptability of adolescents. Based on these findings, this study provides significant insights for parents and teachers to improve the social adaptability of adolescents from the angle of mental health. Meanwhile, parents and teachers should specially pay attention to the influence of personality and growth background of adolescents which also play a decisive role on the effect of mental health education. This study provides practical and useful recommendations for improving adolescent social adaptability and adds to the theory for corresponding future research.
Assessing the Professional Personality of College Counselors: A Student-Oriented Psychological Scale
This study is aimed at identifying the structure and traits of college counselors’ professional personality. Following existing methodology in conducting face-to-face and open-ended interviews, specialist evaluations, and a literature review, we develop a pilot test questionnaire measuring college counselors’ professional personality traits (79 questions) based on salient data collected from a random sample of 2372 university/college students across China. We also conduct explorative factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis to construct the formal “scale for college counselors’ professional personality traits” (SCCPPT, 45 terms) using SPSS 20.0 and LISREL 8.80 software. The results show that this scale features a second-order, 5-factor structure covering the following five dimensions of professional personality: dutifulness, loyalty, affinity, dedication, and innovation. The findings indicate that the reliability (Cronbach’s alpha coefficient) of these five factors ranges from 0.741 to 0.952 and that their validity is supported. Identifying their professional personality enables college counselors to have a more sustainable career and promote the faster growth and higher quality development of students, and the SCCPPT can be used as a measurement tool, supporting research on college counselors’ professional personality. Thus, this study expands both the theoretical and practical literature concerning professional personality traits. It can also provide a novel perspective, which can help global educators understand Chinese higher education; it is also a reference with international implications for professional groups of student affair administrators or instructors.
Sharing the Burden: Latinx Immigrant Parents and Teens’ Sociopolitical Discussions and Their Impact on Youth Mental Health
Background. There is limited research on parent-child discussions about sociopolitical issues in the US and how they take place. There is less known about the role of sociopolitical conversations as a protective factor benefitting immigrant youth and families. We draw on the ecological expansion of the adverse childhood experience framework to better understand how immigrant-origin youth are making sense of restrictive immigration policies coupled with cultural and sociopolitical messaging received from parents. Methods. Participants engaged in one-hour virtual interviews between 2020 and 2021. We conducted ten interviews with undocumented Latinx parents and 10 interviews with their adolescents aged 13-17. Results. Three main themes emerged from parent interviews: (1) sociopolitical socialization and youth agency, (2) documentation status socialization, and (3) emotional and mental health well-being. Findings show that parents use storytelling to share messages about race, culture, and immigration and provide counternarratives to the toxic sociopolitical environment. Four themes emerged from youth interviews: (1) sociopolitical awareness and action; (2) youth taking on a protective role; (3) learning about risks, injustices, and privileges; and (4) mental health. Youth shared a desire for sociopolitical education and reported a range of coping mechanisms against anti-immigrant rhetoric. Conclusion and Implication. Our findings provide a greater understanding of communication practices within Latinx mixed-status immigrant families, by drawing on both parent and youth reports. These findings can inform practitioners and researchers alike of the amplified systemic barriers felt by immigrant families during the pandemic and the urgency of supporting them as they fight for their rights and dignity.
Understanding the Complexities of Adolescent Bullying: The Interplay between Peer Relationships, Emotion Regulation, and Victimization
Bullying is a major social problem that is receiving increased attention in society and research. The overarching goal of the current study was to identify risk and protective factors of bullying examining direct effects between peer relationship, emotion regulation, and bullying involvement. Therefore, a cross-sectional study was conducted with students (55.7% female) between the ages of 10 and 15 (; ). Path model analysis revealed that trust had a negative effect on victimization, dysfunctional emotion regulation had a positive effect on perpetration and victimization, alienation had a positive effect on dysfunctional emotion regulation, and victimization and communication had a positive effect on functional emotion regulation. Additionally, dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies mediate the path from alienation to bullying and to victimization. Study results underline the importance of considering the bullying dynamic from a combined perspective of intra- and interindividual factors. The results partially confirmed the hypotheses and contribute to our knowledge about individual and contextual correlates of bullying in adolescents. The present findings suggest that group facilitation with the entire class in team building could be a useful intervention to strengthen peer relationships as well as the relationships between classmates and teachers and students.
The Impact of Online Socialization on Adolescent Mental Health: The Mediating Role of Friendship Quality and Family Relationships
In the age of advanced information networks, the importance of adolescent mental health has received increasing attention. While previous research has focused on the effects of friendship quality and online socialization behaviors on adolescent mental health, little is known about the mediating variables involved. This study is aimed at exploring the direct and mediating effects of online socialization on adolescent mental health, as well as the role of friendship quality and family relationships. A structural equation model was constructed based on questionnaire results from a sample of adolescents. The results indicated that active social networks promote healthy psychological development in adolescents, either directly or by enhancing friendship quality, but may reduce family relationships and suppress adolescent mental health. Passive social networks with a lack of communication, on the other hand, can negatively affect both friendship and family relationships, resulting in adverse emotions and detrimental effects on healthy development. Based on these findings, this study provides important insights for parents and educators to support the healthy psychological development of adolescents. Specifically, parents and educators should pay attention to adolescents’ online socialization behaviors and encourage healthy communication and interaction on social media. They should also promote strong and positive family relationships, which may mitigate the negative effects of passive social networks on adolescent mental health. This study adds to the theory of adolescent psychology research and offers practical recommendations for improving adolescent mental health.