Journal of Applied Youth Studies v.1 n.3 August 2016

Full text pdf (available only to CAYR members)

The latest issue of the Journal of Applied Youth Studies, v.1, n.3, August 2016 takes readers on a journey around the Asia-Pacific region – from Hong Kong to Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. But the common factor of young people’s navigation of the complex 21st century connects them all.


by Rob White


‘One-eyed hobby horses’, practice theories and good youth work

by Michael Emslie

This critique of some of the prevailing approaches to youth work argues that theories of practice offer better ways of understanding and achieving good practice. A significant body of literature suggests good youth work involves engaging young people in education and training, implementing a practice model, or acting upon young people’s feedback. However, criticisms of these accounts suggest they are inadequate. This article makes the case that we need to think about the problems youth work is trying to address as “wicked problems” that call for “wicked solutions” and argues that practice theories missing from the youth work literature provide more in the way of wicked solutions compared to the conventional approaches to youth work.

Trapped in the middle: Hong Kong youth transitions from a risk society perspective

by Victor Wong & Vienne Lin

Transitions from school to employment in post-industrial economies are characterised by risk and uncertainty where the “trapped middles”, be they sub-degree holders or students, are bound to ascribe to the influence of stratification and commodification of tertiary education. Underpinned by the perspective of risk society, this paper examines Hong Kong young people’s perception and negotiation of risks pertinent to their transitions and explores the interplay between their aspirational pursuits and the reality of the contexts in which they live.

Adolescent motherhood in an Australian context

by Nicola Sheeran, Liz Jones, Lisa Farnell & Jennifer Rowe

Adolescent motherhood has historically been conceptualised as a social problem requiring intervention, particularly in the US and UK where the issue has headlined policy for several decades. This article draws on Australian and international literature to explore constructions of adolescent motherhood in Australia. The authors interrogate the common construction of adolescent motherhood as a primarily age-based problem and examine alternate discourses that could influence policy. They argue that constructing adolescent motherhood as an age-based problem perpetuates stereotypes and stigma and is potentially damaging to young mothers.

A re-education initiative and its impact on reoffending among indigenous New Zealand youth

by Daniel Poa & Sarah Wright Monod

Māori youth are over-represented within the New Zealand criminal justice system. Māori youth comprise 60% of the total youth apprehensions but represent only 20% of New Zealand’s youth population. This paper draws on narrative interviews with six young Māori men and women who had been in trouble with the police. The interviews sought to increase understanding of how their engagement in a program funded by a re-education initiative – the Youth Guarantee policy – impacted upon their offending. A set of effective and non-effective practices toward preventing criminal offending among indigenous young people are drawn from the findings.

Using participatory design to engage young people in the development of a new online tool to increase help-seeking

by Victoria Blake, Kerrie Buhagiar, Sylvia Kauer, Mariesa Nicholas, Lena Sanci & Julie Grey

As many as one in four young Australians are currently living with a mental health difficulty. Despite this, studies repeatedly show that the majority of people experiencing a mental illness do not get the help they need. Evidence suggests that young people are increasingly turning to the internet to look for information and support about mental health issues. This project used participatory design methods to engage end users in the design of an online tool to increase help-seeking among young adults aged 18-25. The research found that the help-seeking journey for young people can be overwhelming, non-linear, and often reliant on a young person’s self-efficacy to find appropriate help and supports.

Towards a participation ecosystem: A literature review on participation in decision-making for children in state care

by Luke Fitzmaurice

Children and young people have a right to meaningfully participate in decisions that impact their lives. However, there are a number of barriers that prevent them from having their voices heard, particularly when they are perceived as vulnerable. This literature review discusses the barriers to meaningful participation for vulnerable children and young people, with a particular emphasis on those in state care. It concludes that what is required is a participation ecosystem, with comprehensive systems enabling participation to occur and a broad, shared understanding of what meaningful participation entails.

Turning thirty: Youth transition processes in 21st century Argentina

by Rene Bendit & Ana Miranda

This paper contributes to discussion of the concept of youth as a transition process from education to employment through an empirical analysis of material gathered in Argentina during the post-neoliberal period. Based on the argument that youth studies should incorporate the historical context and economic policies of the moment studied, the paper has been developed on the basis of quantitative data from standardised surveys and 30 biographical interviews carried out in 2013 with people who graduated from high school in 1999. The interviews covered the whole process of transition from high school education to the workforce in one cohort of young people at the end of one of Argentina’s most important crises (in 2001) and who moved into adulthood within an economic framework very different from the neoliberal model.


Getting connected: Researching organisational engagement and community connectedness among Gen Y youth in Malaysia

by Steven Eric Krauss, Haslinda Abdullah, Zuraidah Ali, Adriana Ortega, Ismi Arif Ismail, Dzuhailmi Dahalan & Zaifu Ariffin

In Malaysia, Gen Y’s perceived lack of connectedness to traditional institutions such as family, school and community organisations is of growing concern, and few formal efforts have been made to study the experiences of engagement and connectedness among these young people directly. In response to this need, a team of researchers at the Institute for Social Science Studies (IPSAS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), has embarked on a two-year study to better understand the process of youth engagement and its relationship to community connectedness among Gen Y youth. By targeting highly engaged exemplars from youth programs and community organisations in Malaysia, the project is taking a best practices approach to conceptualising the key elements and processes that contribute to young people’s engagement in organisations and programs.


Non-Western ideas for democratic renewal

by Righard Youngs, Oliver Stuenkel, Gilbert Khadiagala, Niranjan Sahoo & Senem Aydin-Düzgit

The past five years have seen numerous protest movements and calls for democratic reform by young people around the world. This issue of JAYS spotlights work from the Carnegie Rising Democracies Network, a research network of leading experts on democracy and foreign policy, dedicated to examining the growing role of non-Western democracies in international democracy and human rights support.


Just a ‘spoonful’ of pop culture to help the theory go down?

A review by Joshua Spier of Teaching youth studies through popular culture by Sarah Baker and Brady Robards.