Cover image for Teenage runaways : broken hearts and "bad attitudes"
Teenage runaways : broken hearts and "bad attitudes"
Schaffner, Laurie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Haworth Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 171 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library HV1431 .S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Teenage Runaways: Broken Hearts and "Bad Attitudes" uncovers the perspectives of actual teenage runaways to help professionals, parents, and youths understand the widespread social problem of "last resort" behavior. You ll learn the real reasons teenagers run away, and you ll hear the anguished voices of the teenage runaways themselves, shattering the myth that only bad kids runaway.

Teenage Runaways deflates popular misconceptions that runaways are incorrigible delinquents who want to leave home, that they make impulsive decisions to leave their families, and that they wish to never return. Reporting on a qualitative study of 26 runaways in a shelter in New England, this book reveals that many teenaged runaways leave home in search of safety and freedom from what they consider abusive treatment, whether physical, sexual, or emotional.

In Teenage Runaways, you will discover valuable information about who these children are, why they are running away, and what you can do to help. Specifically, you will read about: why teenagers say they run away running away as "last resort behavior" what the experience of running away is like hope and desire for reconciliation with parents and family running away as a dynamic emotional experience for youths which reflects changes in their social bonds with peers, family, and adults in the educational, legal, and medical systems "emotional capital" from a heavily regulated authoritative environment

Teenage Runaways provides you with a new understanding of teens in trouble to assist you in providing services to this needy and vulnerable population. First-hand accounts reveal the emotional motivations behind decisions to run away, such as 14 years-old Isabel who gives a painful account of what severe physical and sexual abuse feels like to an adolescent victim. Amy, also 14, tells her story of living with a mother who was extremely strict and betrayed her. "

Author Notes

Laurie Schaffner grew up in Los Angeles, California, in the 1950s, and lived on her own as a teenager, including living in Mexico during the 1970s. Ms. Schaffner completed her Bachelor's degree as an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1995. She is currently a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, and she teaches gender studies to incarcerated teenage girls at a northern California juvenile detention facility. Her work has earned awards from the American Sociology Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Table of Contents

Esther Madriz
About the Authorp. ix
Contributorsp. x
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Chapter 1 Running Away Is Social Behavior: Statistics and Historyp. 3
Introduction: Problems in Identifying Runaway Behaviorsp. 3
A Social History of Running Awayp. 6
Reasons for Running Away: Popular Assumptions, Myths, and Current Realitiesp. 7
Development of Runaway Culture Through Patterns of Emotional Interactionp. 14
Emotion Theory and Running Awayp. 15
Procedure: Design and Methodologyp. 18
Description of the Samplep. 20
Contemporary Problems in the Study of Runawaysp. 23
Conclusionp. 26
Chapter 2 Running Away: Theories of Emotion and Deviancep. 31
Introductionp. 31
Emotion Theoryp. 32
Interactionismp. 35
Conflict Perspectivep. 36
Control Theoryp. 40
Conclusionp. 45
Chapter 3 Running Away and the Socioemotional Bondp. 49
Introduction: The Social Bond Is an Emotional Connectionp. 49
"Emotion Talk": Finding the Sociology of Emotionp. 52
Part I Family Bonds Weaken and Dissolvep. 56
Part II Family Bonds Rupturep. 64
Part III Irreparable Bondsp. 70
Part IV Reparation of Bonds: Longing for Protection and Recognitionp. 75
Conclusionp. 94
Chapter 4 The Politics of Anger: Rebellion, Ressentiment, and Emotional Capitalp. 99
Introductionp. 100
A Unanimous Chorus by the Ruled: "Too Many Unfair Rules and Rulers"p. 101
The Ultimate Wielding of Authority Over Youths: "Lockup Is Hell"p. 111
Struggles to Meet Expectations: "I Love My Mother, But ..."p. 113
Ressentiment and Emotional Capitalp. 118
Rage and Insubordination: Defiant Running Awayp. 124
Anger and the Politics of Aimp. 131
Conclusionp. 134
Chapter 5 Broken Hearts and "Bad Attitudes"p. 139
Introduction: Theoretical Observationsp. 139
Runaways' Recommendationsp. 143
Conclusionp. 149
Notesp. 151
Bibliographyp. 157
Indexp. 167

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