Asún D, Alfaro J, Morales G. Contribuciones al ámbito de la intervención psicosocial con jóvenes en Chile. [Contributions to the field of psychosocial intervention with youth in Chile .] Salud y Cambio [Health and Change] ( Santiago , Chile ) 1994; 5(15): 39-46.

Objectives: To analyze the psychosocial intervention strategies directed toward youth in Chile , to problematize the main concepts that guide these interventions, and to define the observed gaps.

Methodology: Analytic and interpretive.

Results: The authors analyze the conceptual perspectives utilized in research on adolescence and youth in Chile . Through this analysis, the authors point out that youth is not a category that takes into account the diversity of youth and that may refer ambiguously to youth as a homogeneous stage. Neoliberal politics in Chile imposed by the dictatorial government that took power in 1973, has formed the development of a dual society. The authors analyze investigations that show distinct aspects of youth development in the popular sectors, the form by which they are self-constructed as a group within a society that marginalizes them, the form in which their exclusion is produced, and their existence as part of “those who are left over.”

In the period of democratic transition, the situation of youth has been considered a vital axis of social policy. This situation is suggested as the payment of a “social debt.” The state organized its responses in the context of the training, education, employment, housing, cultural expressions, participation, rights, health, and psychosocial problems of youth. These responses continued a line of thought that values socioeconomic aspects and that does not give importance to dimensions such as identity, subjective satisfaction, and quality of life. Still lacking is an integrated policy, which would approach youth as a multiple being, integrated into systems, with interdependence among themselves and in circular relationships among the distinct aspects of biological, psychological, and social life.

Conclusions: The authors conclude that psychosocial intervention with youth ought to respect the subjectivity and diversity of youth and should ground unfolding strategies both theoretically and methodologically. That would imply an approximation to the daily life of youth, considering youth’s historicity, subjectivity, and rights of citizenship.

Copyright 2007 University of New Mexico