Slow down, you move too fast
How did it get to be that time of year again without us noticing? Nick our graphic designer has heard a theory that the older you get, the quicker each year appears to go because each year is a smaller proportion of one's life (or words to that effect). I think, in the very near future, I'll wake up, stretch and the year will be over. At least every three months there is Youth Studies Australia to snatch up as we hurtle through life. And reading tends to put the brakes on those spinning hands on the clock, even if only temporarily.
The pace of life also slows a little in the last issue of the journal for the year, which is probably quite appropriate. We start with a fascinating article by Joan Abbott-Chapman, which considers the relationship between young people's desire to take time out and their wellbeing. It also reveals some surprising findings in regard to young people's favourite places. Surprising also are some of the findings in our second paper, which looks at the hopes and aspirations of a group of at-risk students, and factors that might mitigate their disadvantage. For example, the authors found that the dense social networks that enfolded students from refugee backgrounds provided them with some benefits that other at-risk students missed out on.
The format of our third paper departs somewhat from the traditional academic structure to refl ect the importance of conversational exchange between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The dialogue between the two authors explores the possibilities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together in support of Indigenous young people. Next we hear from a group in the youth field whose views are infrequently sought: rural youth workers. We find out what they like about working in regional and remote areas, what really bugs them and what their employers could do to improve their work conditions.
We also include a paper about another under researched issue, the perceptions of rural adolescents in regard to the barriers they face in accessing mental health support. The paper contributes to the literature by reporting on the findings of focus groups of rural adolescents who discussed hypothetical scenarios involving adolescents with mental health issues.
Our final paper for the year focuses on an issue that impinges on the work of all youth studies researchers -- research ethics, and in particular, the matter of consent for young people's participation in research. New national guidelines for ethical conduct in Australian research are being produced, but Judith Bessant believes they still prevent important research being undertaken in the youth field.
When you have digested all this exciting research, we wish you happy ruminations over the holiday season. Remember, life is short, take care.
Editor, Youth Studies Australia
Youth Studies Australia VOLUME 25 NUMBER 4 2006 PP.3-8.