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However, these physical changes represent just a fraction of the developmental processes that adolescents experience.
They vary in their English proficiency and educational levels and in their cultural practices and beliefs.
The number of foreign-born in the United States grew 44% between 1990 and the 2000. Unfortunately, many of the studies of adolescents reported in the scientific literature have looked only at White middle-class adolescents (Lerner & Galambos, 1998; Ohye and Daniel, 1999).
With all of the attention given to negative images of adolescents, however, the positive aspects of adolescents can be overlooked.
Professionals can play an important role in shifting perceptions of adolescents to the positive.
Efforts are made to move to a new way of understanding and working with adolescents in the context of larger systems (Lerner & Galambos, 1998); although working with adolescents and families is critical, systemic change is sometimes needed to safeguard adolescent health.