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May 1993

Youth Alienation as an Emerging Pediatric Health Care Issue: Update

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(5):509. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160290015004

In my Editorial in May 1991,1 I stated that "the number of adolescents without a defined role in modern society is growing," and "these are our alienated youth." The number of alienated youth in America remains large. Since my Editorial on this subject, there have been forces that have aggravated the problem of youth alienation in this country. There have been many positive responses to this crisis as well.

Among the factors that have promoted youth alienation have been the economic recession in the United States, with a subsequent increase in unemployment and a decrease in access to health benefits. As a result many more families have experienced economic crisis. This crisis has been felt especially in our large urban centers, where gang affiliation has increased in the last 2 years. Youth involvement in violence was most acutely observed in the Los Angeles, Calif, riots of 1992. The rate