"If you live in or have visited even a medium-size city recently." the authors of "Nowhere to Grow" memorably begin their report on street children in the Midwest, "you have seen runaway and homeless young people. They congregate in certain downtown areas. They hang out in malls, during inclement weather. Larger cities may have several areas defined by geographic and ideological barriers. Mostly, they look like the other kids: sometimes outrageous in costume, sometimes in windbreakers and sneakers, maybe in gang colours. the difference is that they won't be going home tonight." This book comes out of a study of over 600 runaway and homeless adolescents and over 200 of their caretakers, who were from large to smaller cities in four midwestern states. It focuses on the family histories of these young people and on the developmental impact of early independence. street social networks, subsistence strategies, sexuality, and street victimization are all considered in terms of their effects on adolescent behaviours and emotional well being.
Relying on interviews and data from a survey devised by their team, and working in partnership with street outreach agencies, the authors lead the reader through the various risk factors associated with precocious independence, beginning in the family and then extending to their subjects' environments and behaviours once they have opted to leave. In this volume they have produced a poignant account of cumulative consequences for young people who had few good options at the outset, and have even fewer when they are on their own.
Publisher: Transaction Publishers