Teenage Runaways: Broken Hearts and “Bad Attitudes” uncovers the perspectives of actual teenage runaways to help professionals, parents, and youths understand the widespread social problem of “last resort” behavior. You’ll learn the real reasons teenagers run away, and you’ll hear the anguished voices of the teenage runaways themselves, shattering the myth that only bad kids runaway.Teenage Runaways deflates popular misconceptions that runaways are incorrigible delinquents who want to leave home, that they make impulsive decisions to leave their families, and that they wish to never return. Reporting on a qualitative study of 26 runaways in a shelter in New England, this book reveals that many teenaged runaways leave home in search of safety and freedom from what they consider abusive treatment, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. In Teenage Runaways, you will discover valuable information about who these children are, why they are running away, and what you can do to help. Specifically, you will read about:
- why teenagers say they run away
- running away as “last resort behavior”
- what the experience of running away is like
- hope and desire for reconciliation with parents and family
- running away as a dynamic emotional experience for youths which reflects changes in their social bonds with peers, family, and adults in the educational, legal, and medical systems
- “emotional capital” from a heavily regulated authoritative environment Teenage Runaways provides you with a new understanding of teens in trouble to assist you in providing services to this needy and vulnerable population. First-hand accounts reveal the emotional motivations behind decisions to run away, such as 14 years-old Isabel who gives a painful account of what severe physical and sexual abuse feels like to an adolescent victim. Amy, also 14, tells her story of living with a mother who was extremely strict and betrayed her.