One of the most important problems facing the United States today is the life prospects of disadvantaged boys and girls. Youths from broken families, low-income households, and in-home dysfunction face innumerable challenges that complicate their childhood with struggle and insufficiency. In this case, it is often these children lack nutrition and clothing, reliable transportation to school, and scheduled healthcare. Research indicates that children of low-income families are six times more likely to drop out of school than their higher-income counterparts.
For some teenagers, an unexpected or radical change in their life could lead to a serious mental health crisis because their usual styles of coping are no longer effective. Disruptive events that can trigger a crisis include family turmoil, loss of significant relationship, failed expectations of self, and an unexpected traumatic experience. A youth in-crisis may attempt suicide, make threats or attempt an assault, destroy property, or exhibit a fit of panic.
An at-risk student is one who struggles to succeed academically and typically requires temporary or ongoing intervention and guidance. Common characteristics of at-risk students include lack of interest in school, truancy, low grades, and emotional or behavioral problems.