Positive Youth Development:From Theory to PracticeJeffrey A. Butts, Ph.D.Presented to the Models for Change DMC Action NetworkFebruary 2, 2010
2Effective Youth Justice InterventionDual Focus:Risk FactorsProtective FactorsDesigned to:Generate Evidence of ImpactFacilitate Successful ReplicationMaximum Use of:Family ResourcesCommunity Partners
3Effective Youth Justice InterventionMost youth justice policy and practicefocuses on RISK FACTORSHow do we improve our impact onPROTECTIVE FACTORS?
4What’s Your Theory?CauseEffect
5What’s Your Theory?RiskProtectiveCommunity disorderPovertyFamily violenceSchool failureCognitive defectsUnemploymentLack of empathyPoor decision-makingPoor nutritionHopelessnessGreed•Property•Violence•Drug•Family•StatusCrimeMental illnessSubstance abuseHow Do We Focus Intervention?Family supportSchool successSecure housingStable employmentHealthPositive friendsEthical frameworkAdult guidanceSelf-efficacyCommunity respectPhysical safetyFuture aspirations
Positive Youth DevelopmentStrengths and assetsAttachment, engagement, and socializationUsefulness and belongingBroad system of community-based supportsAllow all youthto experience opportunities and activitiesthat youth in wealthy communities take for granted:• Supportive relationships• Rewards for work• Skill development• Success in learning• Physical activity and sports• Music and the arts• Civic engagement• Community/political involvement6
Positive Youth DevelopmentCenturies old — basically common senseTraces are found in the work of Jane Addams etc.(empowerment, belonging, arts, civic engagement)1970s: researchers started to advance particular modelsfor justice-involved youthKenneth Polk and Solomon Kobrin (1972).Delinquency PreventionThrough Youth Development.Washington, DC: Youth Developmentand Delinquency Prevention Administration.1990s: A wide range of models influential in education,prevention and community-based services7
Community Network for Youth DevelopmentSan FranciscoPromising and Effective PracticesNational Youth Employment Coalition40 Developmental AssetsYouth Development FrameworkNational Clearinghouseand Families & YouthNational Research CouncilInstitute for AppliedResearch in YouthDevelopmentTufts University8
Positive Youth DevelopmentScience-basedInterventions that address specific factorsshown by social science research to beassociated with the extent and severity ofanti-social behavior among youth.