Trends in Youth Development Research Topics: An Integrative Review of Positive Youth Development Research Published in Selected Journals Between 2001-2010


  • Robert J. Barcelona Clemson University
  • William Quinn Clemson University



The body of knowledge related to positive youth development has grown in the last two decades, yet there have been few, if any, systematic investigations of the research base in the field. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to identify the trends in research topics and approaches within the field of positive youth development over the last 10 years by examining five top-tier research journals plus one research-to-practice journal. Results revealed that only 19% of the manuscripts published in all of the selected journals had a positive youth development focus, and this was reduced to 13% when just the five top-tier research journals were considered. Analyses of the positive youth development manuscripts pertaining to population characteristics, methodology, research setting, and topical areas provide a snapshot of the trends and gaps in the body of knowledge related to youth development, and have implications for future research efforts in the field.






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