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At Risk Youth 6th Edition

J. Jeffries McWhirter, Benedict T. McWhirter, Ellen Hawley McWhirter, Anna C. McWhirter

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2013
  • 448 Pages


This text provides the conceptual and practical information on key issues and problems that students need to prepare effectively for work with at-risk youth. The authors discuss the latest prevention and intervention techniques that will help future and current professionals perform their jobs successfully and improve the lives of young people at risk. New content discusses such new approaches as the flipped classroom and mindfulness approaches; expanded content covers LGBTQI youth, youth with disabilities, immigrant youth, and incarcerated youth, among other topics. The accompanying Instructors Manual (IM) and CourseMate provide ideas for group and individual projects, role-plays and practice exercises, journaling, discussion board postings, and reading and writing assignments. The IM also includes quiz items, reflection questions, You Tube/TEDTalks links, PowerPoint® slides to aid in teaching the class, and material on legal and ethical issues formerly presented in the text.

J. Jeffries McWhirter, Arizona State University

J. Jeffries (Jeff) McWhirter is a professor emeritus in the counseling and counseling psychology programs in the College of Letters and Sciences at Arizona State University, where he continues to teach and supervise masters and PhD students. He holds a diplomate in counseling psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Counseling Psychology, and the Association of Specialists in Group Work. He has also maintained a small private practice for more than 45 years.

Benedict T. McWhirter, University of Oregon

Benedict T. McWhirter is a professor of Counseling Psychology and Department Head of the Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 17), and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Oregon.

Ellen Hawley McWhirter, University of Oregon

Ellen Hawley McWhirter is the Ann Swindells Professor of Counseling Psychology and Director of Training for the Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 17), and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Oregon.

Anna C. McWhirter, University of Oregon

Anna Cecilia McWhirter has a master's degree in Prevention Science from the University of Oregon. She works as a research assistant in a number of studies focused on at-risk children, young women, and families at the Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon and as an office specialist for the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program of Lane County, Oregon. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in School Psychology. The author team is comprised of four family members representing three generations, each of whom brings to the table different experiences and expertise. The lead author, Jeff, is the father of Benedict. Benedict and Ellen are married. Anna Cecilia is the daughter of Benedict and Ellen. Robert McWhirter, author of the legal materials presented in the online resources for this book, is also Jeff's son, and has 30 years of experience as a federal public defender and international consultant, and is an author on the history of the Bill of Rights and Immigration law in the U.S.
  • The content has been updated to include new statistics and data about social and behavioral problems. New trends are also presented and described, including the Flipped Classroom, the Student Success Skills program, and Mindfulness approaches, among many others, complementing the host of empirically validated approaches included in earlier editions.
  • This edition has expanded coverage on LGBTQI youth, youth with disabilities, and immigrant youth. It also includes attention to youth who are incarcerated and explores the school-to-prison pathway.
  • The authors apply a new theory of suicide to young people, and clarify the link to NSSI (non suicide self injury).
  • Comments from students, instructors, and reviewers consistently point to the clarity, precision, and lucidity of writing that make difficult material easy to understand. Conceptually, the authors present the problems of youth in their full social context. They don't blame youth for the problems they experience, but instead articulate a way of thinking about and intervening with young people and their families in a way that deals with the larger social contexts, supports young people, and focuses on youth and adults taking responsibility for making changes when behaviors are problematic.
  • The text presents educational, psychological, and counseling interventions for prevention and treatment of at-risk behaviors, including those appropriate for adolescents, pre-adolescents, and younger children. Most of the chapters have a section on interventions so that students can learn about successful strategies for working with young people at risk. Four case study families are introduced in the first four chapters and revisited throughout the text.
  • Part One introduces at-risk issues and describes the ecological factors leading to the problems that children and adolescents face. Because most academic programs preparing human services personnel now include specific and more extensive coursework on ethical and legal issues, the chapter devoted to this content has been dropped from the text, but placed in the Instructors Manual for those who want further reference to legal and ethical issues related to working with youth.
  • Part Two contains three chapters focusing on family problems, school issues, and individual characteristics that provide the backdrop for high-risk attitudes and behavior. Chapter 5 is especially relevant because it highlights resilience factors and includes five constructs that separate high risk from low risk young people.
  • Part Three discusses five at-risk categories (school dropout, drug/alcohol use, risky sex, violence, youth suicide) in five separate chapters. Effective treatment strategies are described that are particularly relevant for working with young people experiencing each of these categories of problems.
  • Part Four contains four chapters that present a complete set of prevention and treatment intervention approaches, including descriptions of school-based, family systems, peer-focused, and community-based prevention programs.
1. An Introduction to At-Risk Issues.
2. Environmental/Societal Factors That Contribute to Risk.
3. Family Problems of At-Risk Children and Youth.
4. School Issues That Relate to At-Risk Children and Youth.
5. Individual Characteristics of High-Risk and Low-Risk Children and Youth.
6. School Dropout.
7. Substance Use and Addiction.
8. Risky Sexual Behavior: Teenage Pregnancy and STDs.
9. Youth Violence: Antisocial Behavior, Delinquency, and Youth Gangs.
10. Youth Suicide.
11. A Prevention/Early Intervention/Treatment Framework and Other Environmental Considerations.
12. Core Components of Programs for Prevention and Early Intervention.
13. Peer Interventions.
14. Family Interventions.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1337429716
  • ISBN-13: 9781337429719
  • STARTING AT $44.49

  • STARTING AT $68.99

  • ISBN-10: 1305670388
  • ISBN-13: 9781305670389
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $186.25
  • RETAIL $247.95

"This is a very comprehensive textbook which is useful in teaching interventions regarding at-risk youth and their families on all levels. It outlines very clearly etiologies of dysfunction regarding behavior, academic issues, and almost every mental health issue that humans encounter. If you want to understand human behavior, I would start by reading this text."

"This [text] reviews the at-risk behaviors of our current youth. It provides a comprehensive look at what our youth are facing today and how we as professionals can work with them to help support their development. It is a thorough textbook."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Resource Manual

ISBN: 9781337096010
Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using such resources as brief chapter outlines, chapter summaries, extensively detailed chapter lecture outlines, lecture suggestions, video suggestions, and creative lecture and teaching suggestions. This manual also contains student learning objectives, key terms, essay/discussion questions, student activities, discussion exercises, and Internet exercises. Finally, it contains material on legal and ethical issues presented in the previous edition of the main text as Chapter 3.

Online Test Bank

ISBN: 9781337096034
Organize your course and capture your students' attention with the resources found in the Test Bank, including multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and essay questions for each chapter of the text -- most with answers and page references.

Online PowerPoint®

ISBN: 9781337096003
These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

CourseMate 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305956827
CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook.


CourseMate 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305956827
The more you study, the better the results. Make the most of your study time by accessing everything you need to succeed in one place. Read your textbook, take notes, review flashcards, watch videos, and take practice quizzes -- online with CourseMate. Access to this product is valid for 6 months after initial log-in.