Assessing Environmental Factors
Mental health professionals have traditionally focused on personality and behavioral characteristics in their assessments of young offenders. For various reasons, the environment in which the youth is functioning has been relatively ignored. We now know that this is an error. Psychological research and theory have demonstrated conclusively that a full understanding of child development and behavior can only be achieved when consideration is given to the total environment in which the child is functioning (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1986). This total environment includes the child’s relations with parents, dynamics of the larger family environment, the peer group, the school, and the community in which the child is living.
KeywordsFamily Functioning Juvenile Justice System Environment Scale Young Offender Family Environment Scale
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