POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is an essential philosophy and approach to policies and programs that serve young people predicated on the understanding that all young people need support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Over the past few decades, research on PYD has expanded greatly and there are numerous commonly cited and used resources and guidance documents on PYD, including Healthy People 2020 which identifies PYD as a major approach for adolescent health interventions, describing it as “the intentional process of providing all youth with the support, relationships, experiences, resources, and opportunities needed to become successful and competent adults.”
TOOLKITS & TRAINING
Colorado PYD In Action (PYD Toolbox)
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other partners have created this online space for people who are supporting youth in reaching their potential around Safety, Health, Education, Connection, and Contribution. They believe collaborative learning encourages us to continually improve our efforts to support youth. This website incorporates a Positive Youth Development (PYD) tool that was developed to foster reflection, discussion, and continuous improvement for youth serving entities. Examples provided for each PYD rinciple highlight how one might observe or demonstrate PYD in their program, practices and policies.
Professional Development for Youth Workers
ACT for Youth provides extensive professional development opportunities promoting the language of positive youth development (PYD) and integrating core PYD principles into the field of youth work. Resources include archived webinars on topics such as topics such as Building Developmental Relationships, and Building Organizational Support for PYD; PYD 101 Training Curriculum
, 10-hour training curriculum offering an orientation to PYD for new youth work professionals; and PYD 101 Online Courses
, a series of short, interactive courses intended to introduce PYD to new youth work professionals, volunteers, and advocates (can be used independently or to supplement the PYD 101 training curriculum.
Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG)
TAG is a national call to action to improve health, to reduce risky behavior, and to promote engagement and healthy development among young people. TAG uses a strengths-based, positive youth development framework to encourage youth-serving professionals, families, and youth themselves to take steps toward promoting better adolescent health. Resources available include a TAG playbook (in English and Spanish) and toolkit to guide your own implementation of TAG principles, successful implementation stories, and social media tools for promoting TAG.
Introduction to PYD Online
An online, self-paced training from the Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau for family and youth services professionals provides an introduction to Positive Youth Development concepts and practices.
Promoting Positive Youth Development in Your State
What does promoting PYD look like at the state level? "Operationalizing" PYD can be challenging, especially for state level agencies as PYD is often thought of as a
community level idea that engages youth directly. This compilation of ideas and examples, and accompanying Google Drive
provides examples of and resources for state directed initiatives to promote and infuse a PYD approach into adolescent focused initiatives. Informed by a series of regional discussions with State Adolescent Health Coordinators (SAHCs) hosted by NNSAHC and the State Adolescent Health Resource Center.
RESEARCH & THEORY
Principles of Youth Development
, by Hamilton, S.F., Hamilton, M.A., & Pittman, K. (2004), The Youth Development Handbook: Coming of Age in American Communities (Chapter 1, pp.3-22). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted and available from E-Commons, Cornell University Library. This foundational document for researchers and practitioners provides an extensive summary of theory and research in the field of youth development, including illustrations of good practice, original case studies, and a contextual approach to such topics as youth participation and diversity. Chapter 1, available for free from the Cornell University Library E-Commons, discusses the processes, principles and practice of positive youth development.
Requirements for Healthy Development of Adolescent Youth
Adapted from a paper by Gisela Konopka, ADOLESCENCE, Volume VIII Number 31, Fall 1973, pp. 1-26.
A compilation of Positive Youth Development strategies, based on research and practice, that help young people thrive and be healthy from The State Adolescent Health Resource Center.
Incorporating Youth Development Principles into Adolescent Health Programs: A Guide for State Level Practioners and Policy Makers
This paper explores the application of PYD principles to public health services for adolescents in five functional areas based on the System Capacity Tool for Adolescent Health.
Suggested strategies are provided for applying a PYD approach to each of the five areas, followed by examples of how states have implemented these strategies. Authored by former Alaska State Adolescent Health Coordinator, Becky Judd, while serving as a Fellow for The Forum for Youth Investment (2006).
Healthy People 2020 – Adolescent Health
Healthy People 2020 emphasizes positive youth development to support healthy adolescent development and healthy and productive transition to adulthood. adoption of healthy behaviors and helps ensure a healthy and productive adult population.
40 Developmental Assets
The Search Institute’s framework for common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults.
New York State’s Approach to Positive Youth Development:
- Comprehensive Statewide Approach to Improve Youth Outcomes: Experience of the New York State Youth Development Team, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 12(6), 2006, Describes key lessons learned in New York State and makes recommendations to guide State and local agencies to adopt a PYD approach that helps young people become healthy, caring, competent, and contributing adults.New York State's 'Assets Coming Together (ACT) for Youth': A Statewide Approach Effects Community Change, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 12(6), 2006, Discusses the objectives, development, implementation, and accomplishments of a public health program in New York that mobilized communi"ties around promoting youth development as a means to improve health outcomes for youth.