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They vary in their English proficiency and educational levels and in their cultural practices and beliefs.

The number of foreign-born in the United States grew 44% between 1990 and the 2000. Unfortunately, many of the studies of adolescents reported in the scientific literature have looked only at White middle-class adolescents (Lerner & Galambos, 1998; Ohye and Daniel, 1999).

In the professional literature, too, adolescence is frequently portrayed as a negative stage of life—a period of storm and stress to be survived or endured (Arnett, 1999).

So, it may not be surprising that a 1999 survey of the general public by Public Agenda reported that for 71% of those polled, negative terms, such as “rude,” “wild,” and “irresponsible,” first came to mind when they were asked what they thought about American teenagers (Public Agenda, 1999).

Directing the courage and creativity of normal adolescents into healthy pursuits is part of what successfully counseling, teaching, or mentoring an adolescent is all about.It takes time to listen and relate to an adolescent. This report also indicates that adolescents whose parents are more involved in their lives (as measured by the frequency of eating meals together regularly, a simple measure of parental involvement) have significantly lower rates of “problem behaviors” such as smoking, alcohol or marijuana use, lying to parents, fighting, initiation of sexual activity, and suicidal thoughts and attempts (U. Adolescents will not simply “open up” to adults on demand.Effective communication requires that an emotional bond form, however briefly, between the professional and the adolescent.The population of adolescents in the United States is becoming increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, with 37% of adolescents ages 10 to 19 today being Hispanic or members of non-White racial groups (see table on page 5).This population diversity is projected to increase in the decades ahead.

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Media portrayals of adolescents often seem to emphasize the problems that can be a part of adolescence.