Rural Adolescent Disadvantage: An Ecological Systems Perspective
Hickman, Natalie M.
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Life in a small rural community can be difficult for all of its residents, but particularly rural youth. Much research in the last few decades has been devoted to the troubles of urban youth and the specific disadvantages they face, while the image of rural America has been portrayed as farm communities with close familial ties. However, the face of rural America is changing and the environment for adolescents is becoming more tumultuous than was previously recognized. This analysis identifies the disadvantages unique to adolescents growing up in rural areas of the United States and explains how these affect the life paths of rural youth. Using Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory I will distinguish the specific disadvantages at the micro-, meso-, exo-, and macro-levels of development.