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Despite the negative portrayals that sometimes seem so prevalent—and the negative attitudes about adolescents that they support—the picture of adolescents today is largely a very positive one.
Most adolescents in fact succeed in school, are attached to their families and their communities, and emerge from their teen years without experiencing serious problems such as substance abuse or involvement with violence.
A growing number of households in the United States include individuals who were born in other countries.
Gang violence, school shootings, alcohol-related accidents, drug abuse, and suicides involving teens are all too frequently reflected in newspaper headlines and movie plots.Much has been written, both in the lay press and the scientific literature, about adolescents’ mental health problems—such as depression, suicide, and drug abuse—and about the serious problems that some adolescents experience.The purpose of , however, is not to describe these problems or the therapeutic strategies to address them, but to address them in the context of adolescent development, with a focus on preventing these problems and enhancing positive outcomes even under adverse circumstances.With all of the attention given to negative images of adolescents, however, the positive aspects of adolescents can be overlooked.Professionals can play an important role in shifting perceptions of adolescents to the positive.
People born in other countries now constitute 10% of the U. population, the highest rate since the 1930 census (U. Census Bureau, 2002).5 Half of those from other countries are from Latin American countries—overall, about 15% of adolescents ages 10 to 19 are of Hispanic or Latino origin (U. Thus, research on most areas of normal adolescent development for minority youth is still lacking; so caution should be used in generalizing the more global findings reported here to all adolescents.