Youth workers' experiences of challenging behaviour: lessons for practice

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Jenkinson, Hilary
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This article analyses the experiences of youth workers in dealing with challenging behaviour among young people. The findings from a qualitative approach to the collection and analysis of data from 45 research participants are presented. The paper begins by briefly exploring the context of youth work in Ireland and outlining the research process. This is followed by a discussion of the nature of challenging behaviours experienced by youth workers including the emergent area of challenging behaviour involving new technology. Other significant themes arising from the research data are discussed. These include issues such as the audience factor, the importance of individual work, the significance of understanding background factors leading to difficult behaviour, and the need to support staff through challenging encounters. Particular attention is given to highlighting the practice implications of the research in developing effective practice in the area of challenging behaviour.
Youth work , SEBD , Challenging behaviour
Jenkinson, H; (2011) '`Youth workers' experiences of challenging behaviour: lessons for practice''. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 16 (1):35-46.
© 2011 SEBDA. This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Hilary Jenkinson (2011): Youth workers' experiences of challenging behaviour: lessons for practice, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 16:1, 35-46 , available online at: