Scientific research and science-guided practice based on the promotion of an individual's strengths constitutes a radical shift in a new and growing area of study within the field of human development. Its trademark term is `positive youth development'. This approach to human development is based on the idea that, in addition to preventing problems, science and practice should promote the development of competencies, skills, and motivation in order to enhance individuals' developmental pathways. Approaches to Positive Youth Development is based on this concept and brings together authors from across Europe and America who are leaders in their respective fields. The main focus of the book, beyond a clarification of the paradigmatic foundations, concerns the major contexts of adolescents and young adults, namely, neighborhoods and leisure locales, school and family, and the major themes of healthy psychosocial development, namely, competences and knowledge, prosocial behavior, transcending problems of delinquency, civic engagement, identity, agency, and spirituality.

Prevention against Substance Misuse: Life Skills and Positive Youth Development

Prevention against substance misuse: Life skills and positive youth development

Today's prevention attempts to reduce problem behaviours such as substance abuse in adolescents not only focus of the reduction of the impact of risk factors, but also on the promotion of problem-specific and more general protective influences. The most successful prevention strategy is based on the life skills approach: life skills enable children and adolescents to cope effectively with everyday challenges and developmental tasks (WHO, 1997), and training in such general intra-and interpersonal skills combined with substance-specific skills and knowledge is related to lower substance use in adolescence. This chapter aims at the comparison of the life skills approach with recommendations and guidelines for optimal programs ...

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