Evaluating PYD Programs

catalanopicCatalano, Richard F., M. Lisa Berglund, Heather S. Lonczak, and J. David Hawkins (2004). Positive Youth Development in the United States: Research Findings on Evaluations of Positive Youth Development Programs. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 591(1): 98-124.

This article summarizes a much lengthier one that appeared in Prevention and Treatment. The earlier article grew out of a project initiated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. The Positive Youth Development Evaluation project described why policy makers, practitioners, and prevention scientists advocated a shift in approach for how youth issues are addressed in this country. The Positive Youth Development Evaluation project sought to define how youth development programs have been defined in the literature and then to locate, through a structured search, strong evaluations of these programs and summarize the outcomes of these evaluations. In the current article, we explain why prevention has shifted from a single problem focus to a focus on factors that affect both positive and problem youth development, describe what is meant by positive youth development, and summarize what we know about the effectiveness of positive youth development programs.