Societies2015, 5(4), 686-712; doi:10.3390/soc5040686 - published 5 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Through considerable efforts and investments of resources, adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have decreased significantly over the past two decades. Nonetheless, large disparities persist for many populations of youth. Reducing unintended adolescent pregnancies is considered a “winnable public health battle,” but one that will require innovative thinking and continued persistence. This paper reviews the recent research literature and innovative programmatic efforts to identify six promising strategies that address the challenge of adolescent pregnancy in new ways. These strategies aim to: (1) understand and address the complexity of adolescent lives; (2) expand the provision of quality sexual health education; (3) engage youth through technology and media; (4) increase access to contraceptives and other sexual health services; (5) create tailored interventions for populations with special needs; and (6) create a supportive policy environment. By building upon lessons learned from past efforts, we can move the field toward the development, strengthening, and promotion of future strategies that enhance the sexual well-being of all adolescents.
Societies2015, 5(3), 664-685; doi:10.3390/soc5030664 - published 18 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Parent involvement in their children’s learning is widely acknowledged as having a positive effect on student academic success. Of particular relevance is the finding that the influence of parent engagement can mitigate differences in socioeconomic status (SES) and family background. Family background is a multi-dimensional concept that includes the family’s “educational culture” (including for example, parenting style, parental expectations for children’s work at school, direct instructional support for school learning, active parent interest in the school’s curriculum, and the monitoring of children’s engagement with their school work). It is these features of a child’s home environment that directly influence much of the social and intellectual capital students need to be successful at school. This paper summarizes a quasi-experimental field study which explored the relative effects of alternative types of school interventions on parent engagement. All of these interventions aimed to further engage parents in the education of their children as a means of both improving student achievement and closing gaps in achievement for students living primarily in challenging social and economic circumstances. Initiatives by school staffs aimed at helping those families struggling to build productive educational cultures in their homes would appear to be a very promising strategy for closing achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students. The study provides eight lessons other districts might take heed of as they embark on their own parent engagement interventions.
Societies2015, 5(3), 646-663; doi:10.3390/soc5030646 - published 17 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Despite its apparent distance from the core topics of economics, economists have been attracted to, and deeply engaged in, research about teen fertility for more than a quarter century. Research has focused on two broad, interrelated issues: the socio-economic consequences of a teen birth and the socio-economic causes of a teen birth. In researching these issues, economists have drawn on and extended basic concepts in economic theory and in applied statistical research. I review those literatures for a non-economist audience and conclude that the research love affair has substantially benefited both parties, although definitive answers to causes and consequences are still elusive.
Societies2015, 5(3), 631-645; doi:10.3390/soc5030631 - published 8 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper reviews the changing strategies for both process and outcome evaluations of teen pregnancy prevention programs over the past few decades. Implementation evaluations have emphasized discovery of what program attributes are most effective in reducing teen pregnancy and its antecedents. Outcome evaluations have moved from collecting data to measure knowledge, attitudes, and program satisfaction to measuring behavior change including postponement of sexual involvement, increased used of contraception, or reduction in teen pregnancy. High quality randomized control trials or quasi-experimental designs are being increasingly emphasized, as are sophisticated analysis techniques using multi-variate analyses, controls for cluster sampling, and other strategies designed to build a more solid knowledge base about how to prevent early pregnancy.
Societies2015, 5(3), 618-630; doi:10.3390/soc5030618 - published 24 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In growing numbers criminologists are discovering the value of imaginative and creative approaches for enquiry. There is now a critical mass of criminological work that engages substantively and theoretically with cultural artefacts such as film, fiction, music, dance, art, photography and cultural institutions. In doing so these works highlight criminology’s persistent epistemological and methodological weaknesses. The broad and fragmented “imaginative criminology” movement offers a challenge to an orthodox criminology that is guided by the coercive and constraining bureaucratic categories of criminal justice administration and the criminal law. Imaginative criminology displaces these as the governing categories of criminological thought and practice. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Louis Althusser, and C. Wright Mills this paper considers the movement’s epistemological significance and the challenge posed to criminological orthodoxy.
Societies2015, 5(3), 598-617; doi:10.3390/soc5030598 - published 10 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Intersectional scholarship argues that women of color have distinct experiences of rape compared to white women and highlights their relative invisibility as victims compared to white women victims in news media. While the bulk of intersectional work has examined such issues within one nation and particularly within the US, in an era of increasingly transnationalized media content, we explore such intersectionalities in a transnational frame. That is, we explore the treatment of the rape of a local Indian woman in New Delhi, India, and the rape of a white woman in Steubenville, USA, in the New York Times and the Times of India. We find that contra assumptions in the intersectional literature, the racialized Indian victim is hyper-visible across both papers while the white US victim is relatively invisible. Situating both newspapers within the global histories of the development of news as a particular genre of storytelling, we argue that their respective locations within larger processes shaped by colonial, imperial and neo-colonial histories have critical implications for the coverage each paper offers. Thus, we argue that issues of race and visibility in media operate very differently depending on the space and scale of analysis. In an increasingly globalized world, then, we must start paying attention to the transnational and its implications for rape, race and (in)visibility in news media. Ultimately, our approach brings together processes of racialization at multiple scales—both below the nation and above the nation—to offer a more complex, multi-scalar understanding of how racialization processes impact rape coverage.