Positive Youth Development: Processes, Programs, and Problematics


  • Richard M. Lerner Tufts University
  • Jacqueline V. Lerner Boston College
  • Selva Lewin-Bizan Tufts University
  • Edmond P. Bowers Tufts University
  • Michelle J. Boyd Tufts University
  • Megan Kiely Mueller Tufts University
  • Kristina L. Schmid Tufts University
  • Christopher M. Napolitano Tufts University




Using the tripartite conception of positive youth development (PYD) suggested by Hamilton (1999) – as a developmental process, a philosophy or approach to youth programming, and as instances of youth programs and organizations focused on fostering the healthy or positive development of youth – we review different theoretical models of the developmental process involved in PYD. In addition, we review the ideas for and the features of youth development programs aimed at promoting PYD. We discuss the need for research interrelating different, theoretically-predicated measures of PYD and, as well, the importance of clear links between models of the PYD developmental process and of the youth development programs seeking to enhance PYD among diverse youth. We discuss several conceptual and practical problematics that must be addressed in order to integrate the three facets of PYD scholarship.






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