Other Related Research Reports on Youth Development
Dworkin, J. B.,
Larson, R., & Hansen, D. (2003). Adolescents' accounts of growth
experiences in youth activities. Journal
of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 17-26.
Little theory and research exists on the developmental processes that
occur during adolescents' participation in extracurricular and community
based-activities. As a step in that direction, we conducted ten focus
groups aimed at getting high school students' descriptions of their
"growth experiences" in these activities.
The youth reported both personal and interpersonal processes of
development. The personal experiences included experimentation and
identity work, development of initiative skills such as learning to set
goals and manage time, and learning strategies for emotional regulation. The
interpersonal experiences included acquiring new peer relationships and
knowledge, developing group social skills such as taking responsibility
and how to work together as a team, and developing valuable connections to
adults. Across domains, adolescents described themselves as the agents of
their own development and change. Youth
activities appear to be a context in which adolescents are active
producers of development.
Larson, R. &
Seepersad, S. (2003). The free time of adolescents in the United States:
Partying, sports, and the American experiment. In S. Verma, S. & R.
Larson, (Eds.). Examining Adolescent Leisure Time Across Cultures:
Developmental Opportunities and Risks. New Directions in Child and
Adolescent Development, no. 99 (pp. 23-36). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Free time fills close to have of U.S. adolescents' waking hours and this
time has a mixed relationship to their well-being and development. The
large amounts of time they spend in unstructured interactions with peers
are related to risk behaviors, on the other hand, increasing amounts of
time spent in organized leisure activities provide unique opportunities
Larson, R. (2006). Positive Youth Development, Willful Adolescents, and Mentoring. Journal
of Community Psychology.
This article describes positive youth development as a process in which
young people's capacity for being motivated by challenge energizes their
active engagement in development. The first part of the article
discusses the condition under which this motivation is activated and
considers obstacles to its activation in daily life. The second part
of the article discusses ways in which caring adults, including mentors,
can support this process of positive development. Several frameworks
are discussed that provide models of how adults can provide needed
structure and guidance while supporting youth's development as agents of
their own growth
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