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Safety and a supportive environment - essential conditions for adolescent wellbeing

Engel, Danielle, Chalasani, Satvika, Rakotomalala, Sabine, Shenderovich, Yulia ORCID:, Aznar Daban, Rocio, Blight, Stephen, Kaviani Johnson, Afrooz, Luna, Jose Roberto, Silverman, Avi, Clarke, Richard, Cluver, Lucie and El Omrani, Omnia 2021. Safety and a supportive environment - essential conditions for adolescent wellbeing. [Discussion Paper]. Adolescents 2030.

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The adolescent well-being framework identifies Safety and a Supportive Environment as one of five domains underpinning adolescent well-being, with sub-domains on Safety and Security, Material conditions, Equity, Equality, Nondiscrimination, Privacy, and Responsiveness. Against this theoretical backdrop, the present paper describes the widespread and diverse threats to adolescents’ safety including various forms of violence - interpersonal, collective, and self-directed. The long-term and multidimensional negative impacts of violence on adolescents’ well-being are discussed, underscoring the importance of ensuring adolescents’ safety as a precondition to achieving well-being across other domains. The paper goes on to describe gaps in ensuring supportive environments including inadequate material conditions linked to poverty, unequal and inequitable access to information, products, and services, discriminatory and gendered social norms, lack of physical and online privacy, and inadequate opportunities for leisure and personal development. Drawing upon an extensive body of past research, the paper identifies key interventions at various levels of the socioecological framework to mitigate these risks and promote a safe and positive development of adolescents. Interventions at the individual or interpersonal level include safe spaces for the empowerment of adolescent girls, group education programmes for building positive masculinities among boys, and parent-child programmes that improve parenting skills and communication. Community-level interventions include those that aim to change behaviors by changing social norms, increase the quality school environments, and improve the responsiveness of health and protection systems. Structural interventions include poverty-reduction and social protection strategies, improving the built environment, legal reform, and careful implementation and enforcement of laws. The paper closes by arguing that synergies between different domains of wellbeing are required to ensure adolescents’ safety and to foster a supportive environment necessary for their positive development.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Adolescents 2030
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 July 2021
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 11:16

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