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Positive Youth Development


Positive Youth Development (PYD) acknowledges the significant impact of individuals, communities, and systems on the health and well-being of youth. Many of the risks associated with youth development, such as substance abuse or teen pregnancy, are influenced by communication skills, community engagement, school connectedness, self-awareness, parental communication, and monitoring.

In this way, PYD goes beyond traditional approaches to prevention. Rather than making prevention more complicated, this paradigm provides an opportunity to pool resources traditionally dedicated to single issues to provide opportunities for all youth not only to avoid problems but to experience a long lasting healthy transition to adulthood.

The Role of Local Health Departments (LHDs) in PYD

LHDs can play an important role in building community capacity for PYD. LHDs by definition are connected to the broader community, including the societal institutions that affect adolescent health, safety, and well-being.

LHDs work in coalitions and through direct partnerships with many community organizations and agencies that are or can become partners in these issues, e.g., parent groups, schools, juvenile justice, community advocates for a wide variety of issues, and human services systems.

There are also tremendous possibilities for youth involvement and engagement in the planning and implementation of LHD programs and services for youth, as well as through service learning in specific LHD programs. More »

PYD Web Resources

Find Youth Info

Forum for Youth Investment

Grantmakers in Health: Positive Youth Development

National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth

The Search Institute