Positive Youth Development

Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a comprehensive framework outlining the supports young people need in order to be successful. PYD emphasizes the importance of focusing on youths’ strengths instead of their risk factors to ensure that all youth grow up to become contributing adults.

Research shows that only four out of ten young people are doing well, and survey results from the Gallup Student Poll suggest that a majority of youth in the U.S. are not hopeful, engaged and thriving. Most often policymakers focus on the negative behaviors or risk factors that youth face and emphasize reducing statistics such as teen pregnancy or dropout rates. Positive youth development focuses on building the positive attributes young people need in order to be successful. It emphasizes the supports and services necessary to help youth transition through various stages of their development. States and policymakers are beginning to use this framework to develop policies and programs that will ensure that all youth are ready for college, work and life.

National Conference of State Legislatures