Richard F. Catalano, Ph.D., Professor, University of Washington School of Social Work, Co-founder, Social Development Research Group
Positive Youth Development: History, Effectiveness, and Future Directions
Abstract: Adolescence is popularly viewed as a time of experimentation and risk taking. It is also a time when adolescents develop the skills, connections and good judgment to become productive, contributing members of society. There is evidence that positive youth development (PYD) approaches in childhood and adolescence can help develop these skills, connections and good judgments and prevent crime and substance use. Dr. Catalano will provide the historical context of positive youth development in the U.S. by describing what brought together researchers, policy makers and practitioners to critique existing single-problem focused prevention approaches. He will describe the concepts that have been used in PYD approaches, and the impact of PYD programs on substance use and crime. Dr. Catalano will provide an example of program outcomes from his own work, the Seattle Social Development Project, using the Raising Healthy Children approach to youth development in elementary school. Future directions for PYD research will be explored.
Co-Sponsored with the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center