Dale A. Blyth
Extension professor, School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development
Current work, research and interests
Dale Blyth provides leadership for applied research in youth development at the intersection of Extension and the College of Education and Human Development. These efforts are focused on understanding whether and how the field makes measurable differences in the quality, availability, and impact of non-formal community learning opportunities. He also uses his diverse background in university, non-profit, and policy work to connect practitioners, researchers, funders, and policy makers to improve the generation and use of research in youth development. He is currently examining new pathways to improve the impact of youth programs through aligning different types of data and accountability. He has written about different perspectives and implications of extending learning time versus expanding learning approaches, the role of intermediary organizations in transforming community approaches to the quality, accessibility and impact of community learning opportunities and the role of larger policy frameworks and tools for effective, long-term changes in children and youth outcomes.
From 1998 to 2011, Dale served as the associate dean for Youth Development and the director of the Extension Center for Youth Development where he helped create the Youth Work Institute that reached more than 4000 youth workers with exceptional non-credit educational experiences and a series of symposia and webinars that bridged research, practice, programs, policy, and public understanding. In 2004-2005 Dale served as chief of staff for the university president's Minnesota Commission on Out of School Time and its report "Journeys into Community: Transforming Youth Opportunities for Learning and Development". Working in collaboration with four legislative co-chairs, he helped found and support the bipartisan, bicameral Children and Youth Legislative Caucus. Dale served as the founding executive secretary for the Society for Research on Adolescence for 10 years. He is also a founding member of the national Next Generation Youth Work Coalition, which is dedicated to developing the workforce of youth workers. In his career he has helped start several journals in the field and served on multiple editorial boards including New Directions for Youth Development, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Youth development, Journal of early Adolescence, and Applied Developmental Science.
His community work includes:
- The Twin Cities Strive’s Goal and Measures Design Team
- Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's Youth Violence Prevention Executive Committee
- St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's Sprockets Leadership Team
- The Greater Twin Cities United Way Education Committee
- A former member of the Board of Youthprise (a new regional intermediary in the Twin Cities)
- The Hennepin County A GRAD Oversight Committee
- The Twin Cities Strive Working Group
He is a frequent public speaker and occasional consultant for initiatives designed to enhance young people’s community learning opportunities. In his career Dr. Blyth has co-written two books including a classic study of adolescent transitions, written more than 60 journal articles and book chapters, multiple research and evaluation reports, edited multiple special issues of journals, and delivered more than 100 presentations to scientific, professional, and popular audiences.
Academic degrees and experience
- Ph.D. in sociology, University of Minnesota, 1977.
- Pre-doctoral fellow in interdisciplinary evaluation research methodology, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1976.
- B.A. in sociology and psychology, graduated summa cum laude, Luther College, 1971.
- He has previously served on the faculty of Ohio State University’s Psychology Department and Cornell University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. In addition to his role as Extension professor in the School of Social Work he has adjunct appointments with the Institute for Child Development and the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.
- In addition to his university roles, Dr. Blyth served as the director of research and evaluation and strategic initiatives units at Search Institute and the directed the Center for Adolescent Health Analysis at the American Medical Association.
Blyth, D., (2011). The Future of Youth Development: Multiple wisdoms, alternate pathways, aligned accountabilities. Journal of Youth Development. Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 2011.
Blyth, D. & Lacroix-Dalluhn, L. (2011). Expanded learning time and opportunities: Key principles, driving perspectives, and major challenges. New Directions For Youth Development, 2011(131), 15-27.
Lochner, A., Allen, G., and Blyth, D. (2009). Exploring the Supply and Demand for Community Learning Opportunities in Minnesota: A Survey of Minnesota parents and Youth.
Blyth, D., (2006). Toward a new paradigm for youth development. In Rethinking Programs for Youth in the Middle Years. Special Issue of New Directions in Youth Development, co-edited by Dale Blyth and Joyce Walker, Number 112, Winter 2006. Jossey-Bass Publisher.
Walker, J., Marczak, M., Blyth, D. A., & Borden, L., (2005). Designing intentional youth programs: Toward a theory of developmental intentionality. In J. Mahoney, R. Larson, & J. Eccles (eds.), Organized activities as contexts for development: extracurricular activities, after-school and community programs. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum]]
Scales, P.C., Benson, P.L., Leffert, N., & Blyth, D. (2000). Contribution of Development Assets to the Prediction of Thriving Among Adolescents. Applied Development Science, vol.2, no. 1, 27-46.
Leffert, N., Benson, P.L., Scales, P.C., Sharma, A.R., Drake, D.R., and Blyth, D.A. (1998) Developmental Assets: Measurement and Prediction of Risk Behaviors among Adolescents.” Applied Developmental Science, vol.2, no. 4: 209-230.
Benson, P.L., Leffert, N., Scales, P.C., and Blyth, D.A. (1998) Beyond the Village Rhetoric: Creating Healthy Communities for Children and Youth. Applied Developmental Science, vol.2, no. 1: 138-159
Simmons, R. G. and Blyth, D. A. (1987) Moving into Adolescence: The Impact of Pubertal Change and School Context. New York: Aldine.
University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus