Positive Youth Development in the United States: Research Findings on Evaluations of Positive Youth Development Programs. Summary of School and Community-Based Positive Youth Development Programs


The analysis found only one well-evaluated, effective youth development program, Teen Outreach, that was conducted in combined school and community domains.  This primarily school-based intervention promoted positive youth development constructs and strategies in the school setting by providing community service opportunities for young people, and produced positive behavioral outcomes on school performance and reduced teen pregnancy.

The analysis showed that positive youth development programs using a community domain component can be described as organizing or applying their strategies in one of three ways: through being an implementation resource or site, in which for example, children perform community service or volunteering, or meet for group intervention sessions at a community center; through program designers addressing specific community risk or protective factors; or through direct involvement of the community, as in community organization and mobilization strategies that target changes in community-level policies and practices.  This program is an example of the first type of community domain application.  The school was the primary setting, while community resources and opportunities were used to support outcomes.