Global communication systems have heightened the intensity in our lives:
The necessary time to coordinate and plan activities has been dramatically shortened by e-mail and web capabilities
The size of our market place or area of personal concern has increased dramatically as a result of technology. Example: Outsourcing to overseas countries has created global competition for US jobs; the developing global economies are now causing plant closings in the US; terrorists from far away places plan and execute events in the US that affect the local feeling of tranquility.
Affluent communities are experiencing serious disconnects in parenting:
A disconnect between over-involved achievement focused parents and their youth struggling to discover their own identity
Resulting in a dramatic increase in drug use by their youth, three times the normal rate of youth with depression, increasing promiscuous sex, and growing self-destructive behaviors.
Excessive emphasis on individualism, competition, and materialism, over friendship, reciprocity, caring and connection.
Because these families are affluent, they are often reluctant to admit they have a problem, and when they do, are not given the needed assistance to solve a family problem.
Communities are striving to deal with juvenile justice because of the cost. The cost to a community for juvenile justice, incarceration, counseling, productivity, tax dollars, and welfare benefits for one youth gone bad amounts to 1.7 - 2.3 million dollars over the lifetime of that person. Hence saving youth at risk should be a priority matter for each community.
A recent survey indicated that Texas ranks 38th out of 50 states in the number of volunteers in their communities.
Associated youth Issues:
The number of youth excelling is declining as they face a daunting future. For example, whereas nearly all young people say that they have goals they want to reach in their lives, a substantial proportion -- 42% -- does not ever expect to reach those goals.
Nearly one in six adolescents ages 12-19 were over weight in 1999-2002, more than triple the rate reported in 1976-1980.
There are many children with chronic health limitations (15.5% of children ages 5-11; 18.8% of children ages 12-17).
13% of youth ages 16-24 were neither enrolled in school nor working.
. 12% of high school females reported having been raped at some point in their lives.
87% of youth, ages 10-17, say it is important to have caring adults in their lives, yet 45% of the kids express a need for more adults they can go to when they have problems. . 84% of kids agree on the importance and need for safe places, yet more than one in four kids
don’t feel safe walking alone in their neighborhoods.
The overall rate of suicide among youth has declined slowly since 1992. However, rates remain unacceptably high. Adolescents and young adults often experience stress, confusion, and depression from situations occurring in their families, schools, and communities.
1.3 million children will experience homelessness during the year (2000)
While teenage pregnancies have declined nationally in recent years, those in Texas have been increasing.
Note: While any one of above trends/obstacles may be a formidable challenge to many youth, the aggregate presents a serious problem for society in the long run. What will history books in the year 2050 say about our generation of leaders? Please send articles that deal with major trends to: firstname.lastname@example.org