The Children’s Society has recently begun a comprehensive research programme to explore adolescent neglect. This summary outlines the context for the programme and focuses on the first study on adolescent neglect and parenting.
Over 15% of 14 to 15 year-olds have experienced one or more forms of parental neglect, according to a groundbreaking study from The Children’s Society which surveyed around 2,000 young people in school years eight and ten.
Troubled Teens: A study of the links between parenting and adolescent neglect also discovered that these adolescents are more than twice as likely to engage in risk-taking activities such as getting drunk or truanting from school.
Parental neglect of adolescents is not well-represented in academic research, and there is no consensus on the definition of adolescent neglect. In reality, little is known about how it impacts on young people’s lives and interacts with other areas of risk and vulnerability.
The Children’s Society has begun to address this issue by trialling a new approach to define and measure adolescent neglect. The study attempts to understand the relationships between parenting and neglect, gathers evidence to determine the scale of neglect, and identifies when parenting input (in relation to educational support, emotional support, physical care or supervision) is so infrequent that it becomes neglectful. It also starts to explore the links with other problems in adolescents’ lives, such as involvement in risk-taking behaviour, low subjective wellbeing and poor health.”