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Counseling Interventions and At-Risk Youth

What kind of programming and interventions prepare young offenders to be productive members of society? What programs or types of interventions do not work? Examples would be helpful for me to understand these interventions.

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What kind of programming and interventions prepare young offenders to be productive members of society? What programs or types of interventions do not work? Examples would be helpful for me to understand these interventions.

Research over the past decade offers renewed promise for counseling interventions that prepare young offenders to be productive members of society. Programs typically stress the prevention of behaviors that lead to re-offending. Most behaviors and attitudes don't directly lead to successful employment, however, they can be thought of as preparatory. Research is demonstrating what works and also what leads to failure (Henggeler, 1989; Quay, 1987):

1. "Quick fix" programs do not work. Programs must be offered over months, not weeks, and of sufficient intensity to change entrenched behaviors and attitudes. Follow-up "booster" sessions contribute to program effectiveness.

2. Programs that employ single aims or strategies do not work. Youth offending has no single cause and the young offender population is far from homogeneous.

3. Successful programs are multi-faceted. They use multiple strategies (e.g., skills, problem-solving, self-monitoring, aggression control), have multiple targets (e.g., individual, peers and home), and have multiple specific goals that typically generalize over time and across settings.

4. Program effects can be missed; programs may be labeled as "failures" if evaluation is faulty. Simplistic evaluation designs and unreliable criteria (e.g., recidivism) cannot address the complexity of short-term and long-range outcomes.

5. ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains effective programming and interventions that prepare young offenders to be productive members of society. Examples and reasons why some interventions fail are also provided.

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