• Adolescent mental health;
  • appreciative inquiry;
  • juvenile delinquency;
  • life patterns;
  • nursing science;
  • qualitative research methodology;
  • unitary appreciative inquiry;
  • youthful offender

PROBLEM:  Combined with demonstrated impulsive behaviors and culturally bound expectations, youth who are detained in the juvenile justice system are challenged to find opportunities to articulate their stories and life experiences that contribute to a future life.

METHODS:  Appreciative inquiry (AI) as a research method is used to analyze interviews of youth residing in a juvenile detention center.

FINDINGS:  The narrative, or life pattern, that youth in detention express is explicated through the four processes of the 4-D Cycle in AI. The processes are discovery, dreaming, designing, and delivery.

CONCLUSIONS:  AI as a research method is useful to conduct interviews with detained youth, to provide a data analysis method for qualitative interviews, and generate nursing interventions. Through articulation of their own stories, youth discover voice and envision empowerment.