The Five Cs of Positive Youth Development in an Aotearoa/New Zealand Program Context


  • Jayne Mercier Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Catherine Powell Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Georgina Langdon-Pole Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Daleki (Fole) Finau Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Karen Hicks Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Louise Bourchier Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Jacqui Hampton Unitec Institute of Technology



positive youth development, Five Cs model, youth program


This study took a qualitative look at an Aotearoa/New Zealand-based positive youth development outdoor-education program in schools using the 5 Cs model of positive youth development. The viewpoints of young people, parents, and teachers were gathered, providing an opportunity to explore additional perspectives of the 5 Cs. All 5 Cs were seen to be present in the program and the 6th C of contribution was also observed. The Cs of competence, confidence and connection featured strongly, whilst the C of connection appeared to be important to young people’s experience of the program. Young people and adults prioritized different outcomes, with adults focusing more on future impacts and young people identifying more immediate benefits. The findings of this study add to an understanding of the 5 Cs model beyond the American context and highlight areas for future research.

Author Biographies

Jayne Mercier, Unitec Institute of Technology

Senior Lecturer, Community Studies.

Karen Hicks, Unitec Institute of Technology

Senior Lecturer, Community Studies


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