Smalltown, New Mexico: Autopsy of a Failure

  • Peter V. DiVasto
  • David L. Ryther


“I should have been able to take a course on raising children for 20 years before I even had them!”

A father in family counseling was almost desperate when he made that statement. Oddly enough, it is true that we receive little if any training for what is probably the most important job of our lives--raising children.

Project Focus is a training program which provides parents and teachers with important skills in communication, child management, and values clarification in order to help them help their children to grow. The underlying assumption of Project Focus is that children become involved in deviant, self-destructive, and destructive behaviors (such as truancy, vandalism and drug abuse) because they have poor self-concepts, undeveloped decision-making skills and poor communication abilities. By helping children develop stronger self-images and accept responsibility for their behavior, we can help prevent these destructive behaviors.

Local Project Focus training groups are conducted by trained local counselors and teachers and meet once a week for eight, ten or fifteen weeks at a time and place convenient to the participants.


Small Town Child Management Local Program Project Prevention Destructive Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter V. DiVasto
    • 1
  • David L. Ryther
    • 2
  1. 1.University of New MexicoUSA
  2. 2.New Mexico Health Education CoalitionUSA

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