On the Right Path: Youth Development Amidst Colombia’s Sociocultural Transition

Holly E. Follmer-Reece, Paulina Velez-Gomez, Nadia Semenova Moratto-Vásquez, Sara L. Dodd


Colombia is amidst a sociocultural transition due to recent political movements towards ending the long-standing internal armed conflict. Development and implementation of youth programs that are responsive to the current societal context can contribute to this transition by investing in younger generations. This study features findings from the exploration phase of a community-based participatory research study to adapt a youth program from the United States for implementation in Colombia. Through focus group interviews, participants representing 4 different microsystems surrounding youth shared perceptions of youth who will be successful in this transitional context. Perceptions coalesced to reveal a process of positive development for use as a framework for responsive and culturally sensitive program adaptations. The emergent process mirrors positive youth development principles and shares similarities with other positive youth development models. The discussion explores considerations for the sociocultural context when designing youth programs for use in Colombia.


youth program; youth development; Colombia; qualitative research

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2021.1023

Copyright (c) 2021 Holly E. Follmer-Reece, Paulina Velez-Gomez, Nadia Semenova Moratto-Vásquez, Sara L. Dodd

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