Historically, the study of adolescent problems and disorders has involved independent inquiry into specific problems such as delinquent and antisocial behavior, substance (tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug) use and abuse, suicide, teenage pregnancy, runaway, and mental illness. This division emerged out of the traditional interests and specializations of the various academic disciplines and has been perpetuated by the present organization of federal and state agencies supporting research and program development in these areas and by the current organization of federal, state and community treatment and support services for adolescents with these problems. Yet there is reason to question the usefulness of this division in the light of recent research (Bachman, 1987; Donovan & Jessor, 1985; Elliott, Huizinga, & Ageton, 1985; Huba & Bentler, 1984; Jessor & Jessor, 1977, Osgood et al, 1988) in which it is suggested that these adolescent problems may have a common etiology and frequently involve concomitant forms of behavior. Should this be the case, there would be a compelling reason to question the appropriateness of the present organization of social control and treatment agencies that tend to focus rather narrowly on a particular problem form with little coordination between agencies and little attention to the more general nexus of problems that characterize clients.
KeywordsMental Health Service Mental Health Problem Emotional Problem Delinquent Behavior Adolescent Problem
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