Validation of a Protective and Promotive Factors Measure: The Youth Thrive Survey

Charlyn Harper Browne, Lisa Mishraky-Javier


This article describes the background, development, and validation of the strengths-based, youth-driven Youth Thrive Survey which measures the 5 protective and promotive factors delineated in the Youth Thrive Framework; specifically: youth resilience, social connections, knowledge of adolescent development, concrete support in times of need, and cognitive and social-emotional competence. Draft instruments were created that included new items and adapted items from existing validated instruments. Revisions were based on feedback from young people who participated in focus groups, cognitive interviews, and field-testing. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to measure internal consistency and reliability of the full instrument and the 5 protective and promotive factor subscales. Principal component analyses revealed items that did not fit well within the instrument structure and subsequently were eliminated. Analyses of the final version of the instrument showed that the Youth Thrive Survey has high levels of internal consistency and reliability. All alphas for the subscales were greater than 0.80 and the alpha for the full instrument was 0.963. This web-based, self-report survey is appropriate for use by organizations serving young people ages 12 to 26, both those who are involved with child welfare and juvenile justice systems and those who have no history of such involvement. It can be used for assessment and case planning with youth, program evaluation, and continuous quality improvement. The Youth Thrive Survey, available in English and Spanish, shows great promise and utility for organizations that employ positive youth development approaches.


youth assessment tool; protective and promotive factors; adolescent development; youth well-being; thriving

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