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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 2005 5(1):1-8; doi:10.1093/brief-treatment/mhi009
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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention Vol. 5 No. 1, © Oxford University Press 2005; all rights reserved.

Original Article

Adolescents Growing Up in Stressful Environments, Dual Diagnosis, and Sources of Success

   Albert R. Roberts, PhD, DABFE
   Kevin Corcoran, PhD, JD

From the Criminal Justice Department at Rutgers University (Roberts), and the Graduate School of Social Work, Portland (Oregon) State University (Corcoran)

Contact author: Dr. Albert R. Roberts, Rutgers University, Livingston College Campus, Lucy Stone Hall, B wing, Room 261, 54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854. E-mail: prof.albertroberts{at}

This article considers the social and psychological challenges to youth in contemporary society. The authors examine the variety of social impediments that face youths in most of our social institutions, from schools and the juvenile justice system to the family. They underscore the need for prevention, health promotion, and comprehensive assessment. Further, they assert that "dual diagnosis" needs to be considered not as a "special population" but as the typical or common experience of at-risk youths once they are diagnosed at mental health centers or juvenile justice reception and diagnostic centers. They conclude that evidence-based assessment, intervention, prevention, and health promotion will start to unravel the matter of misdirected diagnosis and treatment. The articles in this special issue amply illustrate what can be done.

KEY WORDS: adolescence, youths, drug abuse, dual diagnosis, school violence, ADHD, ADD, juvenile justice, comorbid mental disorders

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