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Further reflection on frameworks

In this article Katherine Main provides final comments on positive youth development (PYD) frameworks and asks you to reflect and compare.
Further Reflection On Frameworks
© Griffith University

As we’ve seen, positive youth development (PYD) frameworks focus on the protective and resiliency factors all young people need to live a healthy and happy life.

Encompassing all areas as a whole

PYD frameworks should align with the age and developmental needs of young adolescents and look at identifying and promoting social, emotional competencies as well as a sense of identity, self-efficacy, and opportunities for positive social engagement. The difference between PYD frameworks and other programs is that they aim to provide opportunities to build relationships across all areas of a young person’s life including home and family, school and the wider community. More generic programs tend to concentrate on specific behaviours and activities in isolation.

PYD frameworks are designed to enhance young people’s skills and competencies, not just address risky behaviours.

Compare Lerner’s Five Cs with CASEL’s five competency sets

Quickly recap these two PYD models and consider how the two frameworks align.

The Five Cs:

  • competence (intellectual ability and social and behavioural skills)
  • connection (positive bonds with people and places)
  • character (integrity and moral centeredness)
  • confidence (positive self-regard, a sense of self-efficacy, and courage)
  • caring/compassion (humane values, empathy and a sense of social justice)

CASEL’s five competency sets:

  • self-awareness
  • self-management
  • social awareness
  • relationship skills
  • responsible decision making

Introducing further constructs for PYD

Catalano et al. 1 identified positive youth development programs as approaches that seek to achieve at least one of the following 15 objectives:

  • promotes bonding
  • fosters resilience
  • promotes social competence
  • promotes emotional competence
  • promotes cognitive competence
  • promotes behavioural competence
  • promotes moral competence
  • fosters self-determination
  • fosters spirituality
  • fosters self efficacy
  • fosters clear and positive identity
  • fosters a belief in the future
  • provides recognition for positive behaviours
  • provides opportunities for pro-social involvement
  • fosters pro-social norms

Your task

Reflect on all the PYD frameworks we have discussed this week and also on the perspectives of the teacher, Lisa.

  • Do the competencies outlined by Catalano et al. fit within the other frameworks?
  • Do these competencies align with Lisa’s perspectives on social and emotional wellbeing in young adolescents?
  • If one of the keys to a useful PYD framework is how transferable it is into a developmentally appropriate structure, what would be key for use in your context?

Share your reflections in the comments.


  1. Catalano RF, Berglund ML, Jean AMR, Lonczak HS, Hawkins J D. Positive youth development in the united states: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science [Internet]. 2004 [cited 2018 Aug 12]; 591(1): 98-124. Available from: DOI:10.1177/0002716203260102 

© Griffith University
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