Juno Essay

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Ecological Theory When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra Abstract The ecological theoretical perspective most often is utilized to highlight various levels of environmental context (microsystems, mesosystems, exosystems, and macrosystems) within which families with adolescents are situated. Employed more comprehensively, this approach also can draw attention to the individual, to interactional processes among individuals, and to the impact of time. In the present chapter, ecological theory is covered in terms of its use in highlighting the interconnected nature of families with adolescents and other social contexts. While having been deemed to be one of the dominant theories utilized within this area of inquiry, the debate about its importance and usefulness is also covered, including questions about its inability to provide both conceptual and empirical assistance in describing the inner workings of families with adolescents. Something just didn’t “add up” in the latest case that Malcolm Ward received on his probation caseload. A seasoned veteran of the juvenile court, Malcolm figured he had pretty much seen it all in his 20 years of justice system employment. The new case, however, defied most of the things he had learned to count on as conventional wisdom in his line of work. For starters, the case surrounded charges of aggravated assault with a knife, and the perpetrator was a 15-year-old female named Naomi Hendricks. Malcolm had seen plenty of these cases, but almost all of those offenses involved a male. In those cases where a female was involved, typically there was a history of conflict in the home, and often as not the charges for those females were for aggravated domestic violence. But this was not the situation with regard to Naomi. First of all, the charges

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