Resilience Theory, Social Capital of Neighborhoods and Adolescence

Many studies show cause or correlation between community characteristics and neighborhood qualities with juvenile delinquency, crime, poor academic achievement, and many other negative consequences. Although this perspective of human development within multiple contexts that influence youth and families is beneficial, many previous studies embody a negative approach that neglects the possibility of building strengths. This approach looks to repair, alter and change, to reduce, control and prevent. Reframing this view, this researcher will look to focus on the positive attributes and behaviors of youth, along with the strengths and supports from their neighborhoods that are present in their daily lives; whereby, strengthening, supporting, and promoting. Studying neighborhoods as a positive structure in adolescent development allows for the observation of civic virtues and neighborhood relationships that allow individuals to grow with hope and optimism, while gaining interpersonal skills, and enabling a healthy transition to adulthood. Even though youth may face adversity, advocating and acknowledging the positive allows for growth, the development of competencies, and positive adaptation. This process reflects the manifestation of resilience, psychosocial competency developed by self-, familial-, and community-protective factors in the face of vulnerabilities and adversities. This study will assist in the understanding of the intricacies of interactions between youth and their communities by examining the social capital found within their neighborhood and its effect on overall positive outcomes. Intergenerational closure, social cohesion, neighborhood ties, and informal social control will measure social capital.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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