ABS120 - The social construction process of “unruly youth” from delinquent youth who have "Neurodevelopmental disorder"

2.3 The social construction of [dis]ability and difference/homogeneity
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
5:00 PM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table F
In Japan, a number of recent crimes committed by young people diagnosed with a “neurodevelopmental disorder” have been garnering media attention and eliciting unnecessary anxiety in the general public. Reports of such cases must balance the risk of overemphasizing the notion that juvenile delinquency is a consequence of individual deficits with that of underemphasizing the processes underlying the development of “delinquent” behavior or the need to design appropriate interventions. This presentation is based on interviews with clinical staff members at the national residential care facility for delinquent youth. The interviews were designed to elicit narratives about how staff members verbally express the relationship between residents’ behavioral problems and their disorder (e.g., Autism, ADHD). Our analysis of the data produced the following results. First, regardless of their level of relevant training, staff members rarely described residents’ behaviors in neurodevelopmental terms. Instead, they tended to attribute their success to their own level of professional development and/or to the effectiveness of a milieu approach for changing socially unacceptable behaviors and beliefs. Specifically, they reported that it is important for the staff to welcome youth problem behavior as a sign for a chance to propose proper intervention. Their communal living situation allowed staff to easily be aware of youth's problem, and to protect vulnerable youth from bullying. The term “neurodevelopmental disorder” tended to be used when the training and practical experience of staff members were viewed as ineffective. These findings underscore the availability of alternative approaches to helping delinquent youth with “neurodevelopmental disorders”.
University of Shiga prefecture

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