Competent adolescents from different socioeconomic and ethnic contexts.
In this report two groups of adolescents have been compared and contrasted--black adolescents from working-class families and white adolescents from middle- and upper-middle-class families. The comparisons were based on detailed content analyses of intensive interviews. Although from very different neighborhoods, levels of family income, and life opportunities, the adolescents in these two groups shared an important asset. They were from families determined by rigorous research methodology to be functioning at the more competent end of the continuum of family competence. A preliminary hypothesis that ethnic and socioeconomic forces would cause these two groups of adolescents to be very dissimilar was incorrect. The similarities were, in fact, striking. This important research finding underscores the power of the family as the crucible of human development.
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