Adults in The Making
Adults in The Making
Some of the most interesting statistics involving where crime comes from, what makes people commit such acts and where the behavior originates, is found in the core of the individuals upbringing and the environment that he or she was raised in. In this essay, I will be discussing how Adults in The Making (AIM), a crime prevention program that targets younger individuals, takes actions to progressively decrease the negative behavior in our juveniles.
What is crime prevention? The term “prevention” takes a proactive approach that tries to stop crime before it happens. It is a combination of strategies and procedures that seek to reduce potential harm to people in our societies and reduce crime (Worrall, 2014). When crimes need a prevention program, it typically means that, the type of incidents that are happening are overwhelming or severe and need to be stopped by law enforcement agencies. Another way to look at crime prevention is, the act of trying to reduce victimization; which can enhance the chances of criminals being caught (Worrall, 2014).
Adults in The Making is a family-centered preventative intervention which was originally designed to safeguard against the negative impact of life stressors on American youth; all while preventing them in engaging in risky behaviors. According to the program, “The AIM program also focused on enhancing youths’ ability to self-regulate, which included the ability to set goals, problem-solve—especially in settings where racial discrimination was present—and anticipate the consequences of their choices” (Program Profile, 2014). As you can see, this program engages with the youth to help ensure that my kids, your kids and all other younger kids do not make risky decisions. They believe that by doing this, youth would be less interested in drugs and alcohol and can focus more of their attention on graduating school (Program Profile, 2004).
The sessions at Adults in The Making consist of twelve interpersonal sessions which are one hour long each. Parents attend separate sessions so that they understand what the sessions is about before their child starts the program. During the trial runs of the program, individual families were asked to participate in the programs starting trials. Of the 580 families asked to participate, only 348 families agreed to participate. Of the 348 families, the program divided them into different sections based on experimental and comparison conditions. The average age affected was 17 and a half; which 58.5 percent were females and 63.6 percent of them lived with a single mom. Of those percentages, 42 percent lived below poverty standards (Program Profile, 2014).
The program used families from Georgia, Washington, D.C, Chicago and Michigan. It is interesting to see the affect on kids who grew up with only a mother in the home and how their life changes throughout society. This program developed a stress test essentially, which categorized by levels of how severe the events were and how they impacted the children. People who were part of the program, would periodically show up for a two hour visit at the homes and do stress studies on the children; which in turn, resulted in the ability to show how the child’s behavior would increase or decrease (Program Profile, 2014).
The AIM program targets more African American individuals more due to statistics regarding behavior. However, the program has affectively diagnosed children with behavior issues no matter the ethnical background. The program also found out that children who are in severe life stressors, have a greater chance of not fitting in as they get older and are more likely to partake in more dangerous situations then others. For example, a child who is raised by a single mother and was not disciplined correctly, has a higher chance of consuming alcohol or illegal drugs before the age of 18 (Brody, 2012).
This program is designed to help all families of all ethnicities. It is very fair to say that, providing this type of information to families in need is a necessity for our society. Too many kids are getting into trouble over peer pressure and are not being disciplined correctly. Ethically speaking, the program reaches out to random families to do this evaluation. They make sure that they have a greater percentage of families that only have single mothers and compare them to families that have both parents; which leaves out the question of how their environment is. I understand this program and what it was designed to do. However, the question of their social environment and school policies for each family are not mentioned. I understand that a child’s development within the home is the most crucial, but we can not forget to involve their school environment and social environment.
Another interesting fact that I found out about this program is, they targeted kids who were practically adults. Why would this program go after kids who are 17 and a half when most of the “discipline” is almost out of the question? The program needs to look at kids who are between the ages of 7 and 15. At 7 years old, you almost know what is right and what is wrong, and you can answer questions and understand your own answers. If I were a 17-year-old young adult, and I was asked a question by someone regarding discipline, I would completely ignore the reasoning behind the question. If you want to dig deep into someone’s upbringing, AIM needs to target children who are younger because that is where it all starts.
In Virginia, a youth prevention program gathered young teenagers to younger adults within the ages of 13 to 20 years old. 73 percent of the people they used in their research were African American and 27 percent were Caucasian. Each were randomly placed in treatment/control group and monitored for up to 6 months. As a result, they found out that kids were more affected by their social environment at higher ages, while kids who were younger, were more influenced by peer pressure. The younger kids did not understand the negative influence that drugs and alcohol had on the body (The Insiders Juvenile Crime Prevention Program, 2007).
Adults in The Making has partnered up with other organizations that focus strategically on youth and how their child development skills dictate their behavior later in life. Organizations like the D.A.R.E program, Young Adult Outreach Programs and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), are other programs that have linked up with AIM to get the message across to the public and to different societies throughout our country (Brody, 2012).
Like every program out there, there are good and bad consequences regarding the programs job and how it impacts other organizations. A strength that AIM offers is, they are in connection with each child’s parent(s). Communication is very important in these types of scenarios because, you don’t want to come across offensive and say something wrong. Involving the parents is crucial and allows for the parent(s) to understand what each youth program is trying to explore. A weakness for this program is, the age group that they study. I personally believe that exploring a family with a 17-year-old, is a rough age to comply with; especially when most of the learning process occurs at a much younger age.
In conclusion, Adults in The Making is a youth-oriented program that gets families together to explore where potential signs of drug or alcohol use may occur. Programs like this, are very crucial to not only the children, but the for the knowledge of the parents who may not know this information. Our children are the future of this nation. AIM targets families who may not be financially ok or living in poverty to see where signs of alcohol or drug abuse may occur. They explore the environment and gather information to help keep parents informed and aware of the potential risk’s that his or her child may be under.
Brody, G. (February 8 2012). The Adults in the Making program: long-term protective
stabilizing effects on alcohol use and substance use problems for rural African American
emerging adults. Department of Child and Family Development and Center for Family
Research, University of Georgia. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of
Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22182263
Program Profile. (August 26 2014). Adults in The Making. National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
Retrieved from https://www.crimesolutions.gov/ProgramDetails.aspx?ID=365
The Insiders Juvenile Crime Prevention Program. (December 12 2007). Child Trends. Evaluation
of Program. Retrieved from https://www.childtrends.org/programs/the-insiders-juvenile-
Worrall, J. L. (02/2014). Crime Control in America: What Works, 3rd Edition. [Purdue
University Global Bookshelf]. Retrieved from