Measuring Positive Youth Development: The Development of a State Benchmark

In Oregon, recent efforts by a group of state agencies and community partners led to the adoption of a Positive Youth Development (PYD) benchmark by the Oregon Progress Board in 2006. In this paper, we describe the process of creating the state benchmark and present research evidence showing strong relationships that link high levels of PYD to reduced levels of risk behaviors and increased levels of positive, healthy behaviors among Oregon youth.

References & Resources: 

Alaska Division of Public Health. (2006). Alaska health status indicators: 1996 – 2005. Retrieved October 24, 2007 from http://hss.state.ak.us/hspc/files/HealthStatus2006.pdf.

Benson, P.L., Scales, P.C., Hamilton, S.F., et al. (2006). Positive youth development so far: Core hypotheses and their implications for policy and practice. Search Institute Insights & Evidence, 3, 1-13.

Bernat, D.H. & Resnick, M.D. (2006). Healthy youth development: Science and strategies. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, 12, S10-S16.

Boles, S., Biglan, A., & Smolkowski, K. (2006). Relationships among negative and positive behaviours in adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 33-52.

Carter, T.P., Spitalny, K.C., Marsh, N.R., et al. (2006). Comprehensive statewide approach to improve youth outcomes: Experience of the New York State youth development team. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, 12, S32-S40.

Catalano, R.F., Berglund, M.L., Ryan, J.A.M., et al. (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. In C. Peterson, ed., Positive development: Realizing the potential of youth (98-124). Thousand Oaks, Ca: The American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Coie, J.D., Watt, N.F., West, S.G., et al. (1993). The science of prevention: A conceptual framework and some directions for a national research program. American Psychologist, 48, 1013-1022.

Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F., & Miller, J.Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 64-105.

Johnston, B., Wheeler, L., Deuser, J., et al. (2000). Outcomes of the Kaiser Permanente TeleHome health research project. Archives of Family Medicine, 9, 40-45.

Metzler, M. (2006). Community health status indicators project. Retrieved October 24, 2007 from http://cdc.gov/nceh/tracking/webinars/jul06/MetzlerWebinar072406.pdf. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control.

Nicholson, H.J., Collins, C., & Holmer, H. (2004). Youth as people: The protective aspects of youth development in after-school settings. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 55-71.

Oregon Department of Administrative Services. (2002). Oregon progress board recognized for innovation in public sector. Press Release downloaded from http://egov.oregon.gov/DAS/docs/4-9-02-progressbdinnovation.pdf.

Author(s), Presenter(s): 
Robert J. Nystrom, Adriana Prata, and Sarah Knipper Ramowski
Year published or updated: 
2008