Research with Disadvantaged, Vulnerable and/or Marginalized Adolescents
Auerswald, Colette L.
Piatt, Amber Akemi
UNICEF. Office of Research-Innocenti
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Disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized adolescents (DVMAs) are individuals aged 10–19, who are excluded from social, economic and/or educational opportunities enjoyed by other adolescents in their community due to numerous factors beyond their control. These include factors at the social level (such as economic inequality, violence, stigma, racism, migration), family level (including neglect and abuse) and individual level (e.g. disability, ethnicity). DVMAs include adolescents who are immigrants or refugees; sexual minorities; orphans; incarcerated; those who have run away or been turned out of their homes following neglect and/or abuse; those who are trafficked; and those who belong to a stigmatized indigenous, ethnic, tribal or religious groups. Though gender plays an important role within each of these categories and for the group as a whole, in this brief we do not treat all girls and young women as DVMAs. As a result of their social exclusion, DVMAs suffer from health inequities, or avoidable inequalities in their health and well-being compared to the well-being of other adolescents. Research is needed to inform ways to address these inequities.