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Efforts are made to move to a new way of understanding and working with adolescents in the context of larger systems (Lerner & Galambos, 1998); although working with adolescents and families is critical, systemic change is sometimes needed to safeguard adolescent health.Also at the heart of is the theme that today’s adolescent needs one thing that adults seem to have the least surplus of—time. Council of Economic Advisers, teens rated “not having enough time together” with their parents as one of their top problems. A crosscutting theme, regardless of one’s professional role, is the need to communicate effectively with youth.A growing number of households in the United States include individuals who were born in other countries.Immigrants enter the United States for diverse reasons; some may be escaping a war-torn country, just as others are in the country to pursue an advanced education.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.
It may take even longer before an adolescent feels comfortable asking an adult for help with an important decision.
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.