Chapter 3: Rural Youth: Ecological and Life Course Perspectives
Lisa J. Crockett & Michael J. Shanahan & Julia Jackson-Newsom
Rural youth: Ecological and life course perspectives Until recently, rural youth were largely neglected within the socio-logical and psychological literature. Within sociology, there is a long and distinguished tradition of research on rural-urban differences (Adair-Toteff, 1995; Nelson, 1952), but typically these studies have focused on adults or on the rural population as a whole, with little attention to adolescents as an important subgroup. Conversely, within psychology, adolescents are recognized as a distinct developmental subgroup, but there has been little attempt to determine how and to what extent rural youth differ from their urban and suburban counterparts. From an ecological perspective (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Ianni, 1989), differences would be expected, because rural settings differ from metropolitan settings in important ways, creating distinct contexts for development. Yet, few studies have focused on the distinctive features of the rural ecology and their implications for adolescent development. In part, this neglect may reflect the perception ...