Adolescents’ Positive Future Orientation as a Remedy for Substance Abuse: An Ecosystemic View
AbstractThe use of substance interferes with adolescents’ ability to focus on their future, to delay fulfillment and to be goal directed. It is important to understand why some adolescents, who are at the same developmental stage and are affected by the same psychosocial factors, such as impoverished urban environments, tend to avoid negative outcomes, whereas others are at an increased risk from a number of psychosocial outcomes, including psychological distress, substance abuse, delinquency, teenage pregnancy and failure to complete high school. To achieve this understanding one has to consider the circular causal factors that impact on the adolescents’ future oriented behaviour. The crucial question is what could be holding the youngsters back from goal oriented behaviour? What stops them from planning for a positive future? In trying to break into this web, the researcher decided to assume an ecosystemic perspective. In this paper, the ecosystemic perspective acts as an explanatory framework that refers to personal as well as social life in general. The values, understanding and actions of individual person are hard to understand if they are separated from the social context in which they occur (Engelbrecht, Green, Naicker and Engelbrecht, 1994:4).
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