However, when discussing children and adolescents, the picture changes because individuals in this age range are still in the process of building their belief systems. The individuals who experience or construct behaviors which are destructive as a result of cultural diversity do so from a number of influences and causal factors. However, one factor that should not be used to understand these behaviors and interactions is that of racism. Although the individual may well be experiencing events similar to racially motivated disagreements, because the younger population is still constructing their core belief systems, we must look for other influences in order to understand their behaviors.
According to Boucher, the issue of mental health is a valid discussion to pursue when inquiring into children and adolescent behavioral disorders. The child who is able to take a step back, so to speak, and look at a situation from a more objective viewpoint is a person who has a better foundation of emotional and mental health than those who cannot. When an individual cannot withdraw, and put emotionally charged feelings on a lesser priority level and consider a problem or situation from a more rational point of view, the person cannot detach in order to think more clearly and exercise behavioral choice over their responses. This persona has a problem with "detachment: or an inability to be objective or to distance themselves from circumstances. They over personalize events; they complain that they are the brunt of insults, the butt of jokes, blamed, or targeted; or they believe that they are victims. Unable to prioritize, they react to everything in equal proportion; molehills become mountains." (Boucher, 1999) This behavior is not that which rises to the point of clinical detachment disorder, but rather is simply the learned ability to think through a problem, whether emotionally or racially charged or not. Boucher continues "The detachment difficulty evident in students with emotional and behavior disorders does not involve such a pervasive quality of unreality. Their detachment difficulty, rather, is a process of selective perception. These individuals can deal only with what relates to them; they cannot think beyond themselves; and they are unable to put order into their thoughts and behaviors, or prioritize." (Boucher, 1999)
Thus Boucher has identified one of the inherent difficulties with approaching the subject of adolescent and child behavioral disorders as they relate to cultural diversity. Individuals in a culturally diverse setting are often more conscious of themselves, uncomfortable with how they do or do not fit in. When this is perceived as being motivated across racial divides the problem can escalate quickly. In other words, the younger population often has not yet developed the ability to step back and see the situation through a rational viewpoint.
For example, black and white people groups within the American culture have unique, and yet often opposing views of the country and culture which give them identity. Black and white, a subgroup and a group respectively, have a different experience within the American culture which has given birth to what can be diametrically opposed perspectives on the American experience. For the white group, what could be called a ruling class by those who feel