Commentary on Recent Consensus Studies From the Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Richard F. Catalano


In this thought leader commentary, the author makes observations about the findings and recommendations noted in this special issue. The broad scope of these reports from bullying; mental, emotional, and behavioral health; English language and dual language learners; optimal development; the promise of adolescence; optimal health; and shaping summertime experiences enhances our perspective on the important developmental time of childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Two broad perspectives—positive youth development and distinctive risky behaviors—are highlighted among other important themes. The author observes that the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine could add value in synthesizing the implications of these studies for federal, state, and local agencies; communities; and the youth population itself, identifying both commonalities and research gaps across these reports. Such a synthesis could provide a roadmap including common and unique predictors, evidence-based interventions to address these predictors, and perspectives on integrative and complementary aspects of community, state, and federal systems. Advocacy is needed to take evidence summarized in these reports to scale. In this context, evidence-based practices from promotion to treatment backed by new implementation research in scale-up are likely to return immense benefits to society.



consensus studies; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; prevention science; positive youth development; scale-up; promotion science

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Lu, M. C., & Halfon, N. (2003). Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: A life-course perspective. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 7(1), 13-30.


Copyright (c) 2020 Richard F. Catalano

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