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Positive Youth Development: Individual, Setting, and System Level Indicators


The goals of this brief are two-fold. One is to contribute to efforts to reach some agreement about tools and constructs focused on social and emotional assets. Although different institutions and organizations gather some information about positive social and emotional development, the youth development field does not have an agreed upon set of positive indicators that span research, policy, and practice. The review of literature on youth development practices and tools to measure assets suggests several indicator themes. These themes provide a useful structure for establishing a set of field-wide positive youth development indicators. These categories to build an "indicator menu" for key social and emotional assets at individual, setting, and system levels. A second goal is to make useful tools and items available to the field. The resources detailed here encourage policy makers and practitioners to select indicators that are part of a common "menu" and so are contextually relevant, but also conceptually connected. The framework creates a space for further exploring the usefulness of indicator categories, moving the field closer to shared and aligned indicators with which to measure outcomes and implementation. A complete listing of reports and tools that form the basis of this brief is included.

Suggested Citation:

Dukakis, K., London, R., McLaughlin, M., and Williamson, D. (2009). Positive youth development: individual, setting, and system level indicators. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities.


Tri-Level Positive Youth Development Issue Brief.pdf

Kara Dukakis
Rebecca London
Milbrey McLaughlin
Devon Williamson
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