Empowerment-based positive youth development: A new understanding of healthy development for African American youth

Raphael Travis, Tamara G.J. Leech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


A shift occurred in research about adolescents in the general population. Research is moving away from deficits toward a resilience paradigm and understanding trajectories of positive youth development. This shift has been less consistent in research and practice with African American youth. A gap also exists in understanding whether individual youth development dimensions generate potential in other dimensions. This study presents an empowerment-based positive youth development model. It builds upon existing research to present a new vision of healthy development for African American youth that is strengths-based, developmental, culture-bound, and action-oriented. It emphasizes the relationship between person and environment, the reinforcing nature of developmental assets, and the necessity of a sense of community and community engagement for youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-116
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


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