89,734 research outputs found

    Guides for the Journey: Supporting High-Risk Youth with Paid Mentors and Counselors

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    Strategies to concentrate resources on high-risk youth have long been a goal in the youth field, but the practical means of doing so frequently have eluded practitioners. High-risk youth often are highly transient, and they may need sustained, costly services to address their needs effectively. Guides for the Journey explores a concrete, flexible approach to the problem: the use of paid counselors who stay with young people for extended periods of time. The report profiles three programs now using this strategy and discusses how public funding to support wider use of paid mentors and counselors may be mobilized

    The Least of These: Amachi and the Children of Prisoners

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    There is no rule book for creating, implementing and sustaining a successful social intervention. Hundreds, if not thousands, of now-defunct social programs attest to this reality. These programs may have succeeded in identifying a social need, a cogent and sometimes creative way of meeting that need, and some capacity (both financial and operational) to launch the effort.These are necessary elements -- but not sufficient ones. The social policy field does not consistently recognize or reward good ideas. Success is often as much a product of unusual circumstances -- confluence of the right time, the right idea and the right people -- as it is a result of inherent program quality and effectiveness.The Amachi program is a prime illustration of the unpredictable nature of success in the social policy arena. Its success resulted from a nearly unique blend of factors -- Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), which had been studying the issue of relationships as a way of helping young people for almost two decades; the Pew Charitable Trusts' interest in the potential of faith-based organizations to meet social needs; the well-known academic John DiIulio, who was looking for practical ways to put Pew's interest into action; a source of stabilizing program knowledge (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America); and finally a leader, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., whose combination of personal contacts, managerial knowledge and experience, and dedication to the idea of Amachi was decisive in making the program a success locally, and later nationally.Politics also played a role: the election of a president (in 2000) interested in faith-based initiatives; DiIulio's role in steering the president's attention to Amachi during its early days in Philadelphia; and the way that attention led to a sustained national focus (with federal program funding) on the target group Amachi was designed to serve: children of prisoners. The interplay of these factors -- along with good luck and good timing -- is in many ways the core of the Amachi story, which is detailed in the pages that follow

    The Road From Genghis Khan

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    Taking Stock: A Review of U.S. Youth Employment Policy and Prospects

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    This paper reviews which young adults are most likely to have major problems connecting with the labor force and proposes a series of programs and policies to respond to this population's needs. Specifically, the author asks: How do we define the youth employment problem? What is the history of policy efforts responding to the problem, and how successful have these efforts been? What do history and experience suggest as the most appropriate and feasible policies to pursue

    A unified theory of granularity, vagueness and approximation

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    Abstract: We propose a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this semantic view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being its extension. We provide a new formulation of these ideas in terms of a theory of granular partitions. We show that this theory provides a general framework within which we can understand the relation between vague terms and concepts and the corresponding crisp portions of reality. We also sketch how it might be possible to formulate within this framework a theory of vagueness which dispenses with the notion of truth-value gaps and other artifacts of more familiar approaches. Central to our approach is the idea that judgments about reality involve in every case (1) a separation of reality into foreground and background of attention and (2) the feature of granularity. On this basis we attempt to show that even vague judgments made in naturally occurring contexts are not marked by truth-value indeterminacy. We distinguish, in addition to crisp granular partitions, also vague partitions, and reference partitions, and we explain the role of the latter in the context of judgments that involve vagueness. We conclude by showing how reference partitions provide an effective means by which judging subjects are able to temper the vagueness of their judgments by means of approximations

    Directly depicting granular ontologies

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    Published in extended form as "Endurants and Perdurants in Directly Depicting Ontologies", We propose an ontological theory that is powerful enough to describe both complex spatio-temporal processes and the enduring entities that participate in such processes. For this purpose we distinguish between ontologies and metaontology. Ontologies are based on very simple directly depicting languages and fall into two major categories: ontologies of type SPAN and ontologies of type SNAP. These represent two complementary perspectives on reality and result in distinct though compatible systems of categories. In a SNAP (snapshot) ontology we have the enduring entities in a given domain as they exist to be inventoried at some given moment of time. In a SPAN ontology we have perduring entities such as processes and their parts and aggregates. We argue that both kinds of ontology are required, together with the meta-ontology which joins them together. On the level of meta-ontology we are able to impose constraints on ontologies of a sort which can support efficient processing of large amounts of data

    A Bipartite Kronig-Penney Model with Dirac Potential Scatterers

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    Here we present a simple extension to the age-old Kronig-Penney model, which is made to be bipartite by varying either the scatterer separations or the potential heights. In doing so, chiral (sublattice) symmetry can be introduced. When such a symmetry is present, topologically protected edge states are seen to exist. The solution proceeds through the conventional scattering formalism used to study the Kronig-Penney model, which does not require further tight-binding approximations or mapping into a Su-Schrieffer-Heeger model. The topological invariant for this specific system is found to be the winding of the reflection coefficient, ultimately linked to the system wavefunction. The solution of such a simple and illustrative 1D problem, whose topological content is extracted without requiring further tight-binding approximations, represents the novel aspect of our paper. The cases in which chiral symmetry is absent are then seen to not host topologically protected edge states, as verified by the behaviour of the reflection coefficient and the absence of winding.Comment: 15 pages, 16 figures. Noticed crucial typos in equations 8 and 9 leading to a change of figures 5 and 11. The analysis is unchanged however. Change of abstract to better present novel aspects of pape

    Implicit Environmental Attitudes: Critique and Technique to Promote Awareness

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    open access articleAttitudes toward the environment are understood in psychological science as the result of separate mental systems, one conscious and the other unconscious, and capable of affecting behavior outside of awareness. For example, the common incongruity between what people say about global sustainability and what they do about the environment has been explicated by the influence of implicit environmental attitudes. This study examined the operational adequacy of the commonly used Implicit Association Test (IAT) by directly asking participants to report their recognition of behavioral influences whilst performing an IAT. An analytic technique of awareness assessment was introduced to improve on traditional post-experimental questioning, by requiring a constrained report that provided introspective access to task-related knowledge in awareness. Results revealed participants were very aware of their IAT response latencies, they accurately recognized IAT features that produced those latencies, and the validity of this awareness predicted their test scores, challenging the claim to attitude effects of which individuals are unaware. Thus, the critical evaluation showed the IAT method to be inadequate as a measure of environmental attitudes that are implicit. Applications of the awareness assessment technique are discussed for evaluating tests of implicit cognition, and for promoting individual mindfulness of one’s own environmental attitude
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