Components and characteristics of youth development programs: The voices of youth-serving policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and adolescents

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Due to its increasing popularity, youth development (YD) has become a buzzword that is attached to a variety of programs. Several attempts have been made to articulate a unified definition of YD that would enable the field to progress toward measuring the effectiveness of YD programs. In order to determine what constitutes a YD program, we must establish the criteria for inclusion. This is an exploratory study of a collaborative approach to understanding the components and characteristics of YD programs. The objective of this study is to compare and contrast responses across four participant groups (policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and youth) using a community-based participatory approach, in order to reach consensus and explore the perceived hierarchy of key characteristics for YD programs from multiple stakeholder perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-139
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2008


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