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Contributions of positive youth development to intervention science

Journal article
Authors Kyle Eichas
Laura Ferrer-Wreder
Tina M. Olsson
Published in Child and Youth Care Forum
Volume 48
Issue 2
Pages 279-287
ISSN 1053-1890
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 279-287
Language en
Keywords Positive youth development, intervention, Implementation, Change process research, Cascade effects, Integrated intervention science
Subject categories Social Work, Psychology, Youth research


Background Advances in knowledge of how to promote positive youth development (PYD) have significant potential to enrich intervention science. As part of a broader movement in the direction of a more fully integrated intervention science, PYD intervention research can provide practitioners in youth behavioral and mental health with an updated set of intervention tools beyond problem-focused strategies for reducing or preventing dysfunction. Objective The objective of this commentary is to highlight potential contributions of PYD research to the development of more complete models of youth intervention, as well as to identify directions for future PYD intervention research. Method This commentary discusses and expands on findings from the present articles that contribute to an empirical foundation for connecting PYD promotion with the science and practice of treatment and prevention. Results The findings point to practical advantages that result from understanding the empirical links among PYD, treatment, and prevention on the way to achieving a more fully integrated intervention science, as well as methodological challenges involved in pursuing this agenda. Conclusions In this context, the next generation of intervention science will be driven by integrating PYD’s contextual, cultural, relational, global, and participatory values into the science of building and testing youth interventions.

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