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Making the case for youth development

Theory & framework

What does it take for each child to reach his or her potential? Researchers and practitioners have contributed to a body of knowledge of what maximizes outcomes, with Positive Youth Development as a core philosophy.


YWI History

Youth Development's 100 Year Legacy: Lessons to shape future research and practice
Produced by Extension: Dale Blyth, PhD, Michelle Gambone, PhD, Reed Larson, PhD, Joyce Walker, PhD, Kate Walker, PhD
This webinar commemorates the 100th anniversary of many national youth-serving organizations with a discussion about this special issue of the Journal of Youth Development . 2012.

Reports & articles

Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning (PDF)
RAND Education / The Wallace Foundation.
To focus attention on the potential of summer learning programs, this monograph reviews the literature on summer learning loss and the effectiveness of summer learning programs, determines key cost drivers of and available funds for summer programs, and gathers information about how such programs operate in district and city contexts, including facilitators and challenges. 2011

Once We Know It, We Can Grow It (PDF)
Summary version (PDF)
Produced by Extension: Joyce Walker, Cecilia Gran, Deborah Moore
A white paper on how quality matters in multiple dimensions of nonformal learning in the nonschool hours. 2009

Toward a Common Vision: Naming and Framing the Developmental Imperative (PDF)
Joel Tolman and Karen Pittman
A report about meeting the developmental needs of all young people by getting a clearer picture of their lives and the opportunities and challenges that shape their experience. 2008

Eight Basic Youth Needs (PDF)
Dr. Gisela Konopka (adapted by Karen Freeman)
Konopka developed these requirements for the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1973. They remain foundational tenets to positive youth development. 2007

Keys to Quality Youth Development
Produced by Extension: Patricia Almquist, Barbara Brekke, Sara R. Croymans, Kari Fruechte, Mary Matlack, Betty McAndrews, Patricia Morreim, Jolie Ogg-Graybill, Barbara Piehl, Joyce Walker, and Tom Zurcher
This guide is a working tool to stimulate, challenge, and encourage youth and adults as they work together to plan, conduct, and evaluate high-quality experiences. 2005

Community Programs to Promote Youth Development
Committee on Community-Level Programs for Youth, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, Jacquelynne Eccles and Jennifer Appleton Gootman
Recognizing the importance of adolescence as a period of transition to adulthood, this book offers authoritative guidance to policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and other key stakeholders on the role of youth development programs to promote the healthy development and well-being of the nation's youth. 2002

Community Youth Development: New Challenges for a New Century
Produced by Extension: Jerome Stein
A report on how community development is a part of youth development, but finding the resources needed to build up that community can be a challenge. 2000

Minnesota Commission on Out-of-School Time

Produced by Extension: Dale Blyth, Joyce Walker, Ann Lochner
At the request of University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks, several members of our faculty examined Minnesota youth needs and produced a blueprint for ensuring Minnesota’s young people have engaging opportunities to learn and develop during the non-school hours. (2005)

Journeys into Community Executive Summary (PDF)

Journeys into Community Full Report (PDF)

Listening to Young People's Perspectives on Out-of-School Time Opportunities (PDF)

Brief: Moving Beyond the Barriers: Attracting and Sustaining Youth Participation in Out-of-School Time Programs

Brief: Understanding and Measuring Attendance in Out-of-School Time Programs

Community Programs to Promote Youth Development

Related organizations

A database of research-based youth development materials, particularly for at-risk audiences. Includes curricula, new and seminal research, technology and program evaluation resources.

Harvard Family Research Project
Research on more effective youth development practices, programs, and policies.

Search Institute
Research-based solutions to challenges facing young people.

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