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.

Developmental Assets: An Overview of Theory, Research, and Practice

Developmental assets: An overview of theory, research, and practice
Peter L.Benson

Three theoretical constructs guide an applied research initiative aimed at transforming communities to promote positive human development. First, developmental assets represent a theoretical construct identifying a wide range of environmental and interpersonal strengths known to enhance educational and health outcomes for children and adolescents (Benson, 1990, 1997, 1998, 2006; Benson, Leffert, Scales, & Blyth, 1998; Benson, Scales, Leffert, & Roehlkepartain, 1999). The 40 elements in this framework represent a synthesis of multiple research literatures and are purposefully positioned as health-enhancing resources over which communities have considerable control. Second, asset-building community is an evolving conceptual model describing the nature and dynamics of places and settings that provide a ...

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