However, the dominant approach to data collection and analysis so far- learning what is wrong with young people- is fundamentally flawed as it fails to investigate the factors in a young person's life that we know lead to healthy development.1 It does not tell the full or even the correct story about our kids. There is need to explore more deeply into the factors that are instrumental in shaping the positive development of a child and more scientific work needs to be done to responsibly advance the youth development field. In general this field aims at supporting and promoting processes assumed essential for the health and well-being of a child.
Most of the studies of national importance conducted till recently , with the exception of a few like the one by America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being and Trends In the Well-Being of America's Children which incorporated some of the indicators of positive
youth development, were focused towards finding out and measuring the deficit indicators in our children's lives primarily because the studies were conducted either for- measuring, analyzing or understanding and reporting on social changes or for- decision making and evaluating and assessing governmental social programs and policies. The continuation of such programs depended, of course, on data to monitor their effectiveness.
How those indicators have co...
As the cost of rehabilitation programs mounted, prevention instead of treatment of social problems became the mantra to policy makers. However, there was a tricky problem to decide as to who should be included in prevention programs. Many attempts to decide on the basis of persons "at risk" or the persons with some specific precursor behavior could not give right perspective as there is no significant evidence in research to conclude as to who needed these programs the most. (can you contact me at my email address email@example.com. I need to talk to you urgently.)
The prevention approach or model lays emphasis on finding an effective way to prevent a given problem from happening to or among young people and is based on the principle that absence of problems means that young people are developing appropriately.
From the developmental perspective, there are several flaws in this approach. First, while there are plenty of evidence that negative behaviors or conditions impede the positive development of young people, there is hardly any evidence that absence of such behaviors in itself equates with positive development as in the words of Karen Pittman, a leading youth development advocate " problem-free is not fully prepared." Moreover, it is difficult to measure behaviors that could have happened but did not happen because of a prevention input. Secondly, these prevention programs target only a fraction of our young people who are considered to be "at risk" and not all..
The development perspective offers a different approach and asks three common sense questions : What kind of human beings do we want all our children to be What skills do we want them to possess What do we want them to be able to do to