Applying the Framework:  Positive Youth Development and Restorative Practices

Nancy Riestenberg


This article compares the framework of positive youth development and school connectedness with the practices of restorative measures applied to harm and rule violations in schools. Formal school discipline practices of in- and out-of-school suspension have the unintended outcomes of increases in maladaptive behaviors, with drawl or avoidance of school staff, stigma among peers and poor academic achievement, among others. Restorative practices provide accountability for harm, as well as the opportunity to guide youth in their development, regardless of their experience as an offender, victim or bystander. Stories illustrate the strengths of this approach. Recommendations for school and youth programs regarding restorative measures will include suggestions for future research and evaluation.

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