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Positive Youth Development

Interests in the strengths of youth, the relative plasticity of human development (the capacity of organisms to change systematically), and the concept of resilience coalesced in the 1990s to foster the development of the concept of positive youth development (PYD). As discussed by Stephen Hamilton, the concept of PYD was understood in at least three interrelated but nevertheless different ways as (a) a developmental process, (b) a philosophy or approach to youth programming, and (c) instances of youth programs and organizations focused on fostering the healthy or positive development of youth. In the decade following Hamilton’s discussion of PYD, Peter Benson, William Damon, Reed Larson, and Richard M. Lerner and Jacqueline V. Lerner, and colleagues, among others, presented several different models of the developmental process ...

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