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Youth Development Leadership Research

The faculty in Youth Development Leadership are committed to the advancement of knowledge and application of the discipline of Youth Development that will foster youth well-being and preparation for a successful adulthood.  The four research priorities below contribute to this mission:

Youth Program Evaluation
YDL faculty engage in several program evaluation projects with a variety of partners to provide an understanding of the effectiveness of youth programs to meet program goals and increase efficiency in program implementation. Current partnerships include school-based projects, youth well-being and advocacy in communities, outcome evaluations with camps and other out of school time providers, and parent perceptions of youth program outcomes.

Promotion of Positive and Healthy Development
Faculty study positive and healthy development of young people to inform youth-serving professionals, policy-makers, educators, and parents in enacting strategies to serve and empower youth to reach their potential.

Parent and Mentor Influences on Positive Youth Development
Faculty projects focus on specific adult roles such as parents, mentors, coaches, and program staff which influence positive youth development.  This research examines the nature of adult-youth interaction and how certain interactional patterns may promote the growth and success of youth in community settings. Faculty are also examining how parent involvement, including over-parenting, influences youth development outcomes.

Coping, Resilience, and Success for Military Youth
Faculty serve as collaborators with youth-serving organizations, corporations, and private foundations to evaluate and implement support mechanisms and initiatives that build coping and resiliency skills for youth in military families.