What is youth development?

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Youth development can be defined as:

A process that prepares a young person to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and achieve his or her full potential. It is promoted through activities and experiences that help youth develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies. NASET

The stages that all children go through to acquire the attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills they need to become successful adults (Hamilton, Hamilton, & Pittman, 2004).

It is said that development leads to the “Five Cs”: competence, character, connections, confidence, and contribution (Pittman, Irby, Tolman, Yohalem, & Ferber, 2002)



Pittman, K., Irby, M., Tolman, J., Yohalem, N., & Ferber, T. (2002). Preventing problems, promoting development, encouraging engagement: Competing priorities or inseparable goals? Washington, DC: Forum for Youth Investment.

Hamilton, S.F., Hamilton, M.A., & Pittman, K. (2004). Principles for Youth Development. In S.F. Hamilton & M.A. Hamilton (Eds.) 2004, The Youth Development Handbook: Coming of Age in American Communities (pp.3-22). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.



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