In the past decade, bullying has become recognized as a pervasive problem in schools. Our research at the University of Virginia has highlighted the importance of creating a positive school climate that is conducive to healthy peer interactions and supportive teacher-student relationships. A positive youth development perspective offers new strategies and perspectives on the prevention of bullying and the facilitation of emotional and academic development.
The conferences are designed to bring together some of the nation’s leading experts to give us an understanding of effective principles and practices and to advance the best scientific work in the field. New findings from these experts will be presented at the conference. Continue reading →
English language learners (ELLs) are a very diverse and ever-increasing population of students. They may face many challenges while learning a new language and navigating the educational system, but there are also many opportunities for them. Continue reading →
Vehicular collisions are the leading cause of death in adolescence, a statistic often attributed to lack of experience and “poor judgment.” Nonetheless, a significant subgroup of drivers pass through adolescence with no vehicular collisions or citations despite minimal driving experience. What, then, are these young drivers doing right? Continue reading →
I was fortunate enough to be able to hear Rick Little deliver the keynote address at the Youth-Nex working conference dinner on April 2. My impression of Mr. Little, when my colleague and I assisted him with some logistics earlier in the day, was that he was a very kind and unassuming man. The arrangements were the type that would have exasperated even the most restrained among us. Through it all, however, Little remained unfazed and affable. This was only a glimpse into his profound humanity, as I learned about the scope of his accomplishments and significance of his work during his talk later that evening. (The talk is posted at end of this entry.)
We’ve been posting a lot about the Youth-Nex Working Conference held in April. Now you can view the discussion. Here’s the first of the panel videos with an introduction by Patrick Tolan: “Identifying the Fundamental PYD Processes Affecting Development: Optimal Targets for Intervention.” Distinguished panelists are: Stephen Hamilton (chair), Richard Catalano, Richard Lerner, Anne Petersen, and Margaret Spencer. More panel video to come. View Video
The YN Program Evaluation and Community Consultation arm of Youth-Nex has been very busy lately, especially in the area of consultation. Dr. Tolan partnered with Andy Block and Angela Ciolfi to make a presentation to juvenile court judges from around the state regarding what can be done from the bench to best help truant youth.
It was an exciting couple of days. On April 2-3 we were able to bring together 23 invited scholars —many world-renowned leaders in their fields—to U.Va.’s beautiful Morven Farm.
As you read more about the conference, now and over the coming weeks, we hope you will utilize this blog as a point of exchange for thoughts about the conference and for your work relating to PYD. Continue reading →
By Angela Henneberger, a predoctoral fellow in the Curry School’s Institute for Education Sciences
As a graduate student, it was a pleasure to listen to Dr. McMahon speak on parent training as an approach to treating child behavior problems. Dr. McMahon gave an overview of the research conducted in this area over the past three decades. He stressed that for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers, prevention should continue to be a key focus even though effects may be delayed. Prevention should continue to be a key goal because it is effective and has both social and economic impacts. Continue reading →
The presentations at the Youth-Nex conference were truly amazing! There is so much exciting work being done in the field. I hope we can begin to build a science of positive youth development, and the Youth-Nex conference set a high bar for us.
One thing that really struck me, and which is important for my own work and I think for the field, is the need to build consensus around constructs (and measures) that help us conceptualize important outcomes. Many of us work with programs to design and conduct evaluation research, yet we all focus on a separate set of constructs and use different measures. Continue reading →
The three researchers had never met before their work creating an intervention for one of Charlottesville’s Latino communities. Diane Whaley, Mark DeBoer and Amy Boitnott, all from different parts of the University, got the idea when one of Whaley’s students who had also worked in the Children’s Fitness Center suggested a collaboration. They joined forces in 2010 through an annual Youth-Nex grant which seeds multidisciplinary U.Va. research efforts to enhance effective youth development.
The following post from Dr. Whaley describes, SALUD, a family-based intervention, designed to teach Latino families skills to facilitate healthy eating and physical activity involvement. Continue reading →