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Uncertain Career Prospects and Problem Behavior in Adolescence (From Social World of Adolescents: International Perspectives, P 393-403, 1989, Klaus Hurrelmann and Uwe Engel, eds. -- See NCJ-120206)

NCJ Number
U Engel
Date Published
11 pages
A major aim of this study was to investigate the social and cultural foundations of what might be termed problem behavior in West German adolescents.
Consideration was given to such indicators as educational background, scholastic strain and failure to meet academic demands, status deprivation, and social clique integration. Data on these indicators were obtained from the first wave of a longitudinal survey of 1,717 students between 13 and 16 years of age. Failure to meet scholastic demands was a strong source of both substance use and delinquency, directly or through the path of social conflict with parents. This failure also contributed to negative self-esteem and stress symptoms. A low educational background favored uncertain career prospects, while status deprivation lowered self-esteem. Regarding the structural integration of the friendship circle, being a clique member strongly supported both substance use and delinquency. Negative self-esteem was favored by weak peer group integration. There was a strong tendency for females to show symptoms of stress and a somewhat weaker tendency toward low self-esteem; just the opposite was true for males who were most likely to become involved in delinquent activities. 9 references, 3 figures.


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