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Youth Studies Australia

v.29, n.1, 2010

Article summaries

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Should Australia have an R 18+ classification for video games?  

by  Daniel King & Paul Delfabbro

Youth Studies Australia,  v.29, n.1, 2010, pp. 9-17

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The subject of whether video games with mature or adult content should be restricted from sale in Australia represents a complex social issue. Under the current classification system for video games, any game deemed unsuitable for people under the age of 15 is banned from sale in Australia. With reference to relevant supporting literature, this paper presents a critical summary of the arguments for and against the introduction of an R 18+ rating for video games. Analysis of the key issues reveals that the R 18+ rating issue encompasses matters of accessibility versus restriction of adult material, censorship versus freedom of creative expression, parental versus governmental responsibility, among many other considerations. It is concluded that the known benefits outweigh the perceived but empirically insubstantial risks of introducing an R 18+ rating for video games in Australia.


Adolescence, pornography and harm

by  Colleen Bryant

Youth Studies Australia,  v.29, n.1, 2010, pp. 18-26

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This paper examines the many factors that underpin pornography exposure, and stresses how the risk factors for exposure and problematic sexual behaviours intersect to contribute to harm. An understanding of the complex interplay of factors such as gender, age, attitude, personal characteristics and social context of use is important in the development of strategies that will assist young people to avoid any potential adverse outcomes. The available evidence remains highly incomplete, and its interpretation is highly contested, so the paper highlights the need for longitudinal studies of use and of actual behaviour, and for studies that focus on cultural contexts and emerging media.
Foreword by Judy Putt, General Manager of Research Services, Australian Institute for Criminology (edited)


Who participates?

Differing perceptions of risk by young people and the impact on strategies for youth participation

by Adele Pavlidis & Sarah Baker

Youth Studies Australia,  v.29, n.1, 2010, pp. 27-34

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Conversations with two groups of young people in Queensland were used to explore how they experience risk. The groups placed very different emphases on two types of risk – technological and embodied. The authors argue that this difference is due to each group’s position within the risk society: one group, which consisted of young people experiencing homelessness, were ‘at-risk’, while the other, a youth advisory committee, acted as a buffer between youth at-risk and risk society. These results raise the question as to how such divergences in perception can be taken into account when developing youth participation policy and procedure.


Strengthening young mothers

A qualitative evaluation of a pilot support group program

by Pauline Dickinson & Tara Joe

Youth Studies Australia, v. 29, n. 1, 2010, pp. 35-44

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The Young Mothers Support Group program was designed to engage pregnant teens and young mothers in a youthdriven program tailored to meet their identified needs. Central to the success of the program were the premises that young women would engage in healthy relationships with adults and peers within the program, and were able to actively participate in determining program content and implementation. The evaluation describes the challenges involved in, and early successes of, implementing a youthfocused, youth-driven program.


Young drug users’ perceptions of drug driving in Melbourne, Victoria

by Laura Ann Wilson & Dean Wilson

Youth Studies Australia, v. 29, n. 1, 2010, pp. 45-54

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Preliminary research into drug-user perceptions of drug driving was undertaken with a sample group of drug users aged 18 to 24 from Melbourne, Victoria. Eleven males and nine females participated in semi-structured interviews and completed self-report surveys. Participants discussed their drug driving and their perceptions of the likelihood of detection by police for drug driving. This research provides further insight into young people’s perceptions and behaviours in relation to drug use and driving. The perspectives of young people are rarely included in current drug-driving debates and may have possible implications for policy development.


Micro-interventions and macro-inspirations

A description of the 2009 Central Coast Celebrate Safely Youth Forum

By Chris Krogh

Youth Studies Australia, v. 29, n. 1, 2010, pp. 55-60

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The first Celebrate Safely Youth Forum was conducted by a collection of agencies on the Central Coast of NSW in 2009. Attended by almost 100 young people from local high schools, this forum engaged young people from the perspective that the majority of them do not consume alcohol at harmful levels. In addition to providing important safety information, the event was designed to illicit and support practical, localised strategies (micro-interventions) for promoting safe celebration. Longer term follow-up revealed that participants took their strategies back to their schools and implemented them in a range of creative ways.