Understanding and working with adolescent neglect: perspectives from research, young people and professionals

Leslie Hicks, Mike Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an overview of research about adolescent neglect funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (now the Department for Education) and the Department of Health. The paper examines what is known from literature about the causes of adolescent neglect, together with its potential consequences for well-being. Drawing on qualitative data, the concept of neglect is explored from the perspectives of young people themselves and the professionals who work with them. Consideration is given to examples of interventions and preventative models geared towards addressing adolescent neglect. Key findings indicate that there is a need for both a re-examination of current definitions of neglect in the light of age-related distinctions and perspectives, and a fuller understanding of the particular needs of adolescents who are experiencing neglect. Additionally, the research highlights that there is a lack of research knowledge about neglectful parenting and the behaviour of young people, as well as limited understanding of interventions with neglected adolescents. Key themes from the research are discussed in terms of their implications for future practice, policy and research in relation to working to improve the welfare of neglected young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date13 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • adolescence
  • neglect
  • social work
  • young people
  • children
  • parents
  • family

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