A Roadmap for Youth Thriving: A Commentary on the Arnold and Gagnon Vision for Positive Youth Development

Richard M. Lerner

Abstract


Youth development researchers and practitioners have the common goal of understanding and enhancing the positive development of all young people. The work of Professors Mary Arnold and Ryan Gagnon on the 4-H Thriving Model provides a creative and richly theoretically and empirically informed vision for promoting positive youth development (PYD) through integrating youth development research and practice. Their vision is an exemplar of how theoretically predicated and cutting-edge developmental science and the enactment of youth programs can be mutually informative. Drawing on the theory, research, and ideas for program design encompassed within the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance, which applies developmental scholarship that integrates research from multiple disciplines and underscores the malleability, agency, and specificity of mutually influential coactions between youth and their contexts, Professors Arnold and Gagnon illustrate the features of researchópractice integration that must be enacted for innovative progress in programs aimed at enhancing youth thriving. The compelling roadmap for promoting PYD through the integrations framed by the 4-H Thriving Model will advance youth development practice, developmental science theory and research and, most important, the lives of the diverse young people of our nation.


Keywords


positive youth develoment; Science of Learning and Development (SoLD); research–practice integration; 4-H Thriving Model

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.1056

Copyright (c) 2020 Richard M. Lerner

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