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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Positive Youth Development

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2014
7 pages
Based on a literature review, this study describes the features of "Positive Youth Development" (PYD), the settings in which it occurs, its theoretical foundation, and evidence of its effectiveness in molding youths' positive behaviors and preventing or changing problem behaviors.
PYD focuses on identifying, building on, and providing opportunities for using a youth's assets and skills in order to prevent or change problem behaviors. The settings for PYD include programs that address specific goals and outcomes for youth; organizations that provide youth-development opportunities; socializing systems such as school, family, and religious institutions that teach and nurture positive behaviors; and the community in which programs, organizations, and socializing systems combine their resources to foster social norms and provide informal settings in which PYD can occur. The theoretical basis for PYD is based in developmental systems theory, which views individuals as developing in interaction with contexts that structure and influence their interests, attitudes, expectations, and goals. A growing body of evidence indicates that PYD programs, organizations, peer and family interactions, and community resources nurture individual protective factors that increase positive outcomes and decrease problem behaviors. Some examples of positive development from PYD contexts are listed. Listings of 3 additional resources and 32 references

Date Published: August 1, 2014