Psychology, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version

June 2000


Published in Adolescent Diversity in Ethnic, Economic, and Cultural Contexts: Advances in Adolescent Development, Volume 10, edited by Raymond Montemayor, Gerald R. Adams, and Thomas P. Gullotta. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2000. Pages 43–74. Copyright © 2000 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


Drawing on the themes of social change, ecological risk, and their implications for the life course, this chapter is intended as a point of departure for future research on rural adolescents. We begin by considering the basic but difficult issue of defining the ecology of rural youth, noting possible sources of risk and resilience. We then examine research on psychosocial adjustment among rural youth, identifying how they are advantaged and disadvantaged relative to other youth. Third, we turn to a central challenge facing contemporary rural youth: the need to reconcile attachments to family and place with a desire for educational and occupational mobility. Finally, we suggest conceptual and empirical guidelines for future research.