Latest articles in this journal
Youth, Volume 2, pp 691-704; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040049
There is growing recognition that primary care provision plays a pivotal role in improving health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ (rainbow) youth, but few studies have centered on youth experiences of primary care in Aotearoa New Zealand. This study aimed to explore the experiences and perspectives of rainbow youth when engaging with primary care. Two focus groups were held in 2021 with eleven rainbow young people aged 13–23 years recruited with assistance from local rainbow support organizations in Aotearoa NZ. Groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. Four main themes were identified: (i) anticipated and enacted discrimination, (ii) building trust, (iii) confidentiality and (iv) healthcare provider knowledge and competence. Participants spoke of some positive experiences but perceived these to be lucky or surprising, with most also having encountered less supportive interactions and heteronormative views. Visual indicators of rainbow-friendliness in clinic settings were appreciated only if affirmed by inclusive and accepting practice. Frustrations were expressed about gaps in provider knowledge and the sense of having to educate clinicians about rainbow-specific health issues. Primary care providers can facilitate positive consultations with rainbow young people by using clear communication to build trusting relationships, and by being accepting, non-judgmental and transparent about confidentiality.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 681-690; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040048
Research on adolescent refugee resilience is crucial for understanding the mechanisms of adaptation to resettlement areas and integration into a new country. However, the current literature does not provide clear evidence on the determinants of resilience factors and the association between traumatic experiences and resilience among adolescent refugees. Four electronic databases were searched to identify relevant articles. Inclusion criteria for articles were (i) potential traumatic experience was the independent variable and resilience was an outcome variable of the study, (ii) association between traumatic experiences and resilience was reported, (iii) participants of the study included adolescent refugees or asylum seekers and (iv) to be peer-reviewed publications based on primary data, written in English and published between 1 January 2010 and 20 January 2022. Eight articles were included in this scoping review. The review found that most of the included studies identified individual, relational/family and contextual/cultural factors as determinants of resilience. However, there were inconsistencies in the association between traumatic experiences and resilience. This review suggests that intervention strategies implemented among adolescent refugees should focus on enhancing individual, family/relational, and cultural/social factors to protect adolescents from possible poor mental health consequences after exposure to trauma.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 668-680; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040047
In a large, ethnically diverse sample of college-attending emerging adults (N = 693; ages 18–29), the current study examines associations between self-efficacy and individual adjustment (academic satisfaction, depressive symptoms, subjective physical health, and loneliness), directly and indirectly through perceived stress. Moderated mediation effects by sex, ethnicity, school year, and first-generation status were also explored. Using PROCESS, results show that self-efficacy was directly related to adjustment, and indirectly related through lower stress. Sex moderated the associations between self-efficacy and stress as well as stress and depressive symptoms; the relations were stronger in women. School year moderated how stress was associated with academic satisfaction in that the negative association was not found among the fourth-year students, but in all other peers. First-generation status moderated the negative association of self-efficacy and stress, with it being greater for first-generation college students compared to their peers. In addition, self-efficacy was positively related to academic satisfaction for first-generation students, but no relation was found for other students.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 654-667; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040046
Social work practice is grounded in the symbiotic relationship between macrosystemic community work and direct practice with individuals; however, following a resurgence in emphasis on evidence-based clinical social work in higher education, research on community-building efforts within social work has waned. Among sexual and gender minority populations (SGM), research has indicated a vast array of negative outcomes associated with added stressors, such as stigma, discrimination, and marginalization impacting the population. As such, this study attempts to re-focus the attention of social work practice on the importance of building community, especially for SGM populations. Via a multi-group analysis, the relationship between community (positive social institutions), hope, and flourishing was explored in both the cisgender-heterosexual population and that of the sexual and gender minority population (n = 586) within the United States. Results indicate that there are differences with positive social institutions directly impacting flourishing and indirectly through hope, whereas among the cisgender-heterosexual population, positive social institutions impact flourishing indirectly through hope, and not directly. As such, it is imperative that social workers focus on building strong supportive communities for SGM populations in order to directly and indirectly impact their overall flourishing and wellbeing.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 646-653; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040045
This paper examines the macro trends, policy responses, and their impact on youth and their aspirations about the future. It uses the conceptualisation of “the self as enterprise” to focus our discussions about how, and to what extent, youth try to “enterprise” their selves through higher education amidst the global rise of academic entrepreneurialism. The paper addresses the new reality of changing economies and creative disruptions of employment markets facing youth and their futures. We will talk about the way youth career aspirations will be reconsidered and the role of higher education in it. We also discuss the in-betweenness of materialistic and post-materialistic pursuits among young people, as well as the topic about “enterprising self” through higher education and innovating futures using youth’s entrepreneurial mindset, competence, and “self-entrepreneurship”. The paper will end by discussing some inspirations and insights for policies and practices and empirical research concerning the topic of youth, futures, and aspirations.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 610-632; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040043
Young adults have experienced significant changes and cutbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated how young adults from Germany, Austria and Switzerland experienced their educational and vocational situation in the past and how they see their current situation and their future. The data was collected through expert and peer interviews, i.e., that some of our 17- to 20-years old interviewees were trained after the expert interview to conduct interviews with their peers themselves. The analysis shows challenges such as concerns over the socially perceived worthlessness of degrees during COVID-19, the prospective fear of difficulty in making contacts when starting in a new place, or the loss of motivation due to perceived omnipresence of school in everyday life. Changes such as a lack of communal celebration of graduation due to the elimination of school-based graduation activities, or developing independence after a distance learning experience due to required personal responsibility, could be seen. They used a variety of coping strategies, for example confrontive coping, distancing, seeking social support or escape-avoidance.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 587-609; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040042
The core purpose of Youth-Initiated Mentoring (YIM) is to adopt a more collaborative approach to mentoring by inviting youth to nominate and select their own mentors. This article performs a scoping review of research on YIM to identify common methodologies and emerging evidence from available studies. Six online research databases were used to identify peer-reviewed academic articles published in English. No date restrictions were applied. In total, nine peer-reviewed articles were identified and reviewed. The main findings from these studies indicate that collaborating with youth during the mentor nomination process offers several benefits to youth in mentoring relationships. Based on the knowledge gained from this scoping review, a secondary purpose of this article is to encourage researchers to adopt a more participatory approach to their future investigations of YIM. Despite YIM’s recent exploration into more collaborative approaches to practice, the model has yet to fully embrace more collaborative approaches to research. To address this limitation, this article begins a productive dialogue between YIM and Community-Based Participatory Research. Specifically, this article reviews four of the principles within Community-Based Participatory Research and surfaces helpful strategies that researchers can use to begin celebrating the local knowledge and expertise of youth and their communities.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 570-586; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040041
Binge drinking (BD) is a high-risk pattern of alcohol consumption that is remarkably prevalent among teenagers and emerging adults. This pattern is thought to alter social networks, affecting access to social support (SS), which is considered essential for adjustment during transitional periods and may in turn play a proactive role against risk behaviors. In this review, we aim to synthesize the available data on the relationship between BD and SS in teenagers and emerging adults. Therefore, a search on three electronic databases was conducted (Web of Science, PsycInfo and PubMed). Articles were screened using eligibility criteria in line with the investigation question and the methodological quality of the studies were reported. Data were analyzed using a narrative synthesis approach. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data suggested that SS is associated with the onset, frequency, and intensity of BD; this relation varies with age, gender, and source of support (family or peers). From developmental and socio-cognitive points of view, the following conclusions were reached: (a) effects beyond the detrimental consequences of BD must be considered in order to interpret the data, and (b) social support should be taken into consideration in intervention strategies.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 556-569; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040040
Amid global disturbances, the calls for educational institutions to promote peace and counter hostility intensify. However, policymakers and other adults typically draft the various programs developed for schools to pursue this mission. While young people have valuable insights into the realities and issues around them, their ideas are rarely solicited in this respect. This study contributes towards filling this gap by bringing insights from Finnish youth on how to address hostile attitudes and foster the development of more peaceful futures in and through education. The data were gathered through an online survey sent to students in upper-secondary education (16- to 20-year-olds) in Finland. The survey included an open-ended question on how schools could address hostile attitudes. In total, 2744 students answered this question, and their responses composed the data of this study. Through qualitative analysis, we found that their suggestions concerned both the academic and social dimensions of school education in addressing hostile attitudes. The students highlighted that to change people’s attitudes and beliefs, they need to know more, and most importantly, they need to know differently. They proposed self-reflection and dialogue as pedagogical tools for the critical examination of one’s taken-for-granted assumptions. The students’ ideas align well with the tenets of transformative learning, which could be valuable in developing educational approaches for more peaceful societies.
Youth, Volume 2, pp 538-555; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth2040039
Evidence from around the world consistently indicates young people experience high rates of mental ill-health, but frequently have limited engagement with treatment. One powerful influence on young people’s engagement with mental health care is their relationships with treatment providers. A strong relationship with clinicians may be key to sustaining engagement, reducing dropout rates, and improving outcomes from treatment. However, research into young people’s perspectives on qualities they value in their clinicians has often been limited by traditional methodologies which explore young people’s attitudes to clinicians they have already worked with. This limits young people’s responses and, therefore, our understanding of who an effective ‘youth mental health clinician’ could be. In this study, 94 young people from New Zealand participated in innovative research workshops in which they described their ideal mental health clinician. Thematic analysis identified five themes which summarized these young peoples’ priorities for an ideal mental health clinician: Someone Like Me, Someone I Connect With, Someone Who Protects My Space, Someone Who Treats Me as an Equal, and Someone Who Works in the Right Way for Me. The presence and demonstration of these qualities may support both initial and sustained engagement with treatment, with the potential to improve outcomes for young people. Importantly, the connections between these themes highlight that young people are less likely to value ‘relatability’ as an isolated quality in their clinicians and most desire to work with clinicians who balance a warm and comfortable personal style with professional expertise and boundaries. These findings provide guidance for clinicians from a range of orientations who wish to work effectively with young people as to how they can adapt their approaches and seek feedback to improve their work with young people.